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T R Y A L 

O F 

John Peter Zenger, 

O F 


Who was lately Try'd and Acquitted for Printing and 
Publishing a LIBEL againft the Government, 

With the Pleadings and Arguments on both Sides. 

It a cuique eveniaty ut de Republica meruit. 


The Fourth Edition. 

London: Printed for J. Wilford, behind the Chapter-Houfe, St. Paul's 

Church-Yard, 1738. 



I I 

1 1 ] 



O F T H E 

Case ^Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, Prn 
of the New-York JVcekly Journal, 

S there was but one Printer in the 
Province of New-York, that printed 
a publick News Papers, I was in 
Hopes, if I undertook to publifh 
another, I might make it worth 
my while; and I foon found my 
Hopes were not groundlefs : y firft Paper was 
printed, Nov. $th, 1733. and I continued print- 
ing and publifhing of them, I thought to the 
Satisfaction of every Body, till the January fol 
lowing; when the Chief Jufticc was pleafed to 
animadvert upon the Doctrine of Libels, in a 
long Charge given in that Term to the Grand 
Jury, and afterwards on the third Tuefday of Oclo- 
ber, 1734. was again pleafed to charge the Grand 
Jury in the following Words : 

«■ Gentlemen; I mall conclude with reading a 
Paragraph or two out of the fame Book, con- 
cerning Libel: ; they are arrived to that Height, 
that they call loudly for your Animadverfion ; 
it is high Time to put a Stop to them ; for at 
the rate Things are now carried on, when all 
Order and Government is endeavoured to be 
trampled on ; Reflections are caft upon Perfons 
of all Degrees, muft not thefe Things end in 
Sedition, if not timely prevented ? Lenity, you 
have feen, will not avail, it becomes you then 
to enquire after the Offenders, that we may in 
a due Courfe of Law be enabled to punifli them. 

If you, Gentlemen, do not interpofe, confide-- 
whether the ill Confequences that may aritc 
from any Difturbances of the publick Peace, 
may not in part lye at your Door ? 
' Hawkins, in his Chapter of Libels, confi- 
ders three points. \ft. What JJmll be /aid to be 
a Libel, zdly. Who are liable to be punijhed for 
it. idly, In what Manner they are to be punifhe-i. 
Under the 1/?. he fays, §. 7. Nor can there he 
any Doubt, but that a Writing, which defames a 
private Per/on only, is as much a Libel as that 
which defames Perfons intrufied in a publick Capa- 
city, in as much as it ma)iifeflly tends to create ill 
Blood, and to caufe a Difurbance of the publick 
Peace ; honvever, it is certain, that it is a very 
high Aggravation of a Libel, that it tends tofcan- 
dalize the Government, by reflecling on thofe who 
are entrujled with the Administration of publick 
Affairs, vjhich does not only endanger the publick 
Peace, as all other Libels do, by Jiirring up the 
Parties immediately concerned in it, to Ails of 
Revenge, but alfo has a dire ft 'tendency to breed Ut 
the People a Di/like of their Governors, andinclihs 
them to FaSlion and Sedition. Ac to the 2d. 
Point he fays, §. 10. It is certain, not only he 
who compofes or procures another to compofe it, but 
alfo that he who publifhes, or procures another *fa 
publijb it, are in Danger of being punifhed for it ; 
and it is faid not to be material^ whether he irfbo 
di/'perfes a Libel, knew any Thing of the Coht'e ■■ 
B '" 


* Eiffels of it or not ; for nothing could be more eafy 

* than to fublijh t'.emoft 'virulent Papers with the 
1 great eft Security, if the concealing the Purport of 

n from an illterate Pullijher, would make him 
' (aft in the d:jperfmg them ; Jlfo, it has been /aid, 

* that if he who hath either read a Libel himjllf, 

* or hath heard it read by another, do afterwards 
' Malicioufly read or report any Part of it in the Pre- 
' fence of others, or lend or Jbew it to another, he is 
' guilty of an unlawful Publication of it. Aljo, it 

fbbten balden, that the Copying of a Libel Jhall 

* l.e a conclufs<ve Evidence of the Publication of it, 
' unlefs the Party can prove, that he delivered it to 

* a Ma«ijhate to examine it, in which Cafe the Acl 
' fubfequent is faid to explain the Intention prece- 

* dent. But it feems to be the better Opinion, that 
' re who firfl writes a Libel, dictated by another, is 
f tt.treby guilty of Making of it, and consequently 

* punijbabli for the bare jVriting ; for it was no 
' Libel till it was reduced to Writing. 

« Thefe, Gentlemen, are fome of the Offences 
» which are to make Part of your Enquiries ; 

* and if any other mould arife in the Courfe of 

* your Proceedings, in which you are at a Lofs, 
« or conceive any Doubts, upon your Application 

* here, We w ill aflift and direct you. 

The Grand Jury not indicting me as was 
exported, the Gentlemen of the Council pro- 
ceeded to take my Journals into Confideration, 
and lent the following Meffage to the general 


Uiejovis, 3 ho. P.M. Ijtk of 'Jlober, 1734. 

• \ VfeiTage from the Council by Philip Cort- 

' laitdt, in thefe Words, to owVj 
» "I I : Board having had feveral of Zenger's 
''. ■■./ '...••< U'ttkly Journal* laid before them, 

• and other kurrilous Papers, tending to alienate 
« the Affections of the People of this Province 
« from his Mijelty's Government, to raife Sedi- 

• tions and Tumults among the People of this 
« Province, and to fill their Minds with a Con- 
« tempt of His Majelty's Government: Andcon- 
« fidering the pernicious Confequences that may 

• attend fuch growing Evils, if not fpeedily and 
« effectually put a Stop to. And conceiving that 
« the molt likely Method to put a Stop to fuch 

• bold and feditious Practices, to maintain the 
« Dignity of His Majelty's Government, and to 
» preferve the Peace thereof, would be by a Con- 

• between a Committee of this Board, 

* and a Committee of the AfTembly; It is there- 

* fore ordered, That the Gentlemen of this Board, 
« NOW ASSEMBLED, or any feven of them, 

* be a Committee, to join a Committee of the 

* Houfe of Reprelentatives, in order to confer 
' together, and to examine and enquire into the 
' faid Papers, and the Authors and Writers 

* thereof. 

4 Which MelTage being read. 

< Ordered, That the Members of this Houfe, 
« or any fourteen of them, do meet a Committee 

* of the Council, at the Time and Place therein 

* mentioned. 

j Die Veneris, 9 ho. A. M. 18 Oclober, 1734. 

« Mr. Garretfon, from the Committee of this 
Houfe, reported, That they lalt Night met the 
Committee of the Council, on the fubjeel Mat- 
ter of their MefTage of yefterday to this Hoafe ; 
and that after feveral Preliminaries between the 
faid Committees, the Gentlemen of the Council 
reduced to Writing, what they requefted of 
this Houfe, and delivered the fame to the 
Chairman, who delivered it in at the Table, and 
being read, is in the Words following. 

1 At a Committee of the Council held the : -jh of 
OcJober, 1734. 


Mr. Clarke. Mr. Harrijbn. Dr. CoUn. 
Mr. Living/Ion. Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chief Jullice. 
Mr. Cortlandt. Mr. Lane. Mr. Horfmandtn. 

f Gentlemen ; 

' The Matters we requeft your Concurrence 
in, are, That Zenger's Papers, No. 7. 47. 48. 
49 . which were read, and which we now deli- 
ver, be burnt by the Hands of the common 
Hangman, as containing in them many Things 
derogatory of the Dignity of His Majefty's 
Government, reflecting upon the Legiflature, 
upon the molt confiderable Perfons, in the moll 
diftinguifhed Stations in the Province, and tend- 
ing to raife Seditions and Tumults among the 
People thereof. 

* That you concur with us in the Addreffing 
the Governour, to ifTue His Proclamation, 
with a Promife of Reward for the Difcovery of 

the Authors or Writers of thefe Seditious Libels, 

« That 

Trval of JOHN PE 

' That you concur with us in an Order for 
« Profecutting the Printer thereof. 

• That you concur with us in an Order to the 
« Magiftrates, to exert themfelves in the Execu- 

* tion of their Offices, in order to preferve the 
' publick Peace of the Province. 

' By Order of the Committee. 

Fred. Morris, CI. Con. 

« Mr. Garret/on delivered likewife to the Houfe 
« the feveral Papers referred to in the laid 

* Requeft. 
« Ordered, That the faid Papers be lodg'd 

* with the Clerk of this Houfe, and that the 
' Confideration thereof, and the faid Requeft, be 

* referred till Tuefday next. 

4 £)ie Martis, 9 ho. A. M. 22 Oclober. 1734. 

4 The Houfe according to Order proceeded to 

c take into Confideration the Requeft of a Com- 

* mittee of Council, delivered to a Commitee of 
f this Houfe, on the 1 6th Inftant, as likewife of 
t the feveral Papers therein referred to. And 

* after feveral Debates upon the fubjecl: Matters, 
« TABLE.' 

The Council finding the General AfTembly 
would not do any Thing about it, they fent the 
following MefTage to the Houfe. 

* Die Sabbati, 9 ho. A. M. zNovember^ 1734. 

! A MefTage from the Council by Mr. Living- 
' fion, defiring this Houfe to return by him to 
« that Board, the feveral feditious Journals of 
« Zetiger's, No. 7. 47. 48 49. which were deli- 

* vered by a Committee of that Board to a Com- 

* mittee of this Houfe, the lyth of Oclober laft, 

* together with the Propofals of the Committee 
« of that Board, delivered therewith to a Com- 

* mittee of this Houfe ; and then withdrew.' 

On Tuefday the $th of November, 1734. the 
Quarter Seffions for the City of New-York began, 
when the Sheriff delivered to the Court AN 
ORDER, which was read in thefe Words. 

* At a Council held at Fort George, in New-York, 

the zdof November, 1734. 

TER ZENGER, tec. 3 


His Excellency William Cofiy, Capt. General and 
Governor in Chief, &e. 
Mr. Clarke. Mr. Harrifon. * Dr. Gulden. 
Mr. Livingjl 'on. Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Chief Jufiice. 
Mr. Cortlandt. Mr. Lane. Mr. Hor/mauden. 

* Whereas by an Order of this Board, of this 
« Day, fome of John Peter Zenger'j Journal:, 
c entitled, The New- York Weekly Journal, con- 
■ taining the frefbeft Advices, foreign and d'omef- 

* tic, No. 7. 47. 48. 49. were ordered to be burnt 
1 by the Hands of the common Hangman, or Whip- 
f per, near the Pillory in this City, on Wednefday 

* the 6 th Infant, between the Hours of Eleven and 
« Twelve in the Forenoon, as containing in them 
< many Things tending to Sedition and Failion, to 
« bring His Majefys Government into Contempt, 
« and to difurb the Peace thereof, and containing in 
« them likewife, not only Refeclious upon His Excel- 

* lency the Governor in particular, the Legifature in 

* general, but alfo upon the mof confiderable Perfins 

* in the moft difinguifhed Stations in this Province. 
' It is therefore ordered, That the Mayor, and Magi- 

* pates of this City, do attend at the Burning of 

* the feveral Papers or Journals aforcfaid, Num- 
1 be red as above mentioned. 

Fred. Morris, D. CI. Con. 

5 To Robert hurting, Efq ; Mayor of the City 
1 of Nf*vr**rA* and the Kelt of the Magiftrates 

* for the faid City and County. 

Upon reading of which ORDER, the Court 
forbad the Enti ing thereof in their Books at that 
Time, and many of them declared, that if i: 
fiiould be entred, they would have their Protell 
envied againft it. 

On Wednefday the 6th of November, the Sher- 
riff of Nevj-York moved the Court of Quarter 
Sefjions, to comply with the faid Order, upon 
which one of the Aldermen offered a Proceft, 
which was read by the Clerk, and approved of by 
all the Aldermen, either exprefsly or by not 
objecting to it, and is as follovveth. 

« Whereas an ORDER has been ferved on this 
Court, in thefe Words. 

[The Order as above infer ted."\ 

< And 

*N.B. Dr. Colden was that Day at Efopus, 90 Miles from New-York, (ho" inentiondasprefdnt fa C<uncil 


* And whereas this Court conceives, they are 

* only to be commanded by the King's Manda- 

* tory Wtkf* authorized by Lav/, to which they 
' conceive they have the Right or' (hewing Caule 

* why they don't obey them, if they believe them 
« improper to beobey'd, or by ORDERS, which 
« have Jo me known Laws to authorize them ; and 
« whereas this Court conceives THIS ORDER to 
4 be no Mandatory Writ warranted by Law, nor 

* knows of no Law that authorizes the making 
« the Order aforefaid ; fo they think themfelves 

* under no Obligation to obey it : Which Obedi- 
« ence, they think, would be in them, an open- 

* ing a Door for arbitrary Commands, which, 
' ft hen once opened, they know not what dan- 
« gerous Confequences may attend it. Where- 

* fore this Court conceives itfelf bound in Duty 
' (for the Prefcrvation of the Rights of this Cor- 
« poration, and as much as they can, the Liberty 
« of the Prefs, and the People of the Province, 
1 an Affcmbly of the Province, and feveral 

* Grand Juries, have refufed to meddle with the 

* Papers, when applied to by the Council) to pro- 

* teft againfl the ORDER aforefaid, and to forbid 

* all the Members of this Corporation, to pay any 
« Obedience to it, until it be fhewn to this Court, 
« that the fame is Authorized by fome known 

* Law, which they neither know nor believe 

* that it is.' 

Upon reading of which, it was required of 
the Honourable Francis Harrijbn, Recorder of 
this Corporation, and one of the Members of the 
Council, (prefent at making the faid Order) to 
fhew by what Law or Authority the faid ORDER 
was made ; upon which he fpoke in Support of 
it, and cited the Cafe of Doctor Sacbeverel's Ser- 
mon, which was by the Houfe of Lords ordered 
to be burnt by the Hands of the Hangman, and 
that the mayor and Aldermen of London mould 
attend the doing of it. To which one of the 
Aldermen anfwered to this Purpofe ; That he 
conceived the Cafe was no ways parallel, becaufe 
Doctor Sacbcveul, and his Sermon, were im- 
peached by the Houfe of Commons of England, 
which is the Grand Jury of the Nation, and 
Rer/refentative of the whole People of England: 
That this their Impeachment they pro(ecuted 
before the Houfe of Lords, the greatelt. Court of 
Juftice of Britain, and which beyond Memory of 

Man, - has had Cognizance of Thing? of that 
Nature, that there Saclcverel had a fair Hearing 
in Defence of himfelf and of his Sermon. And 
after that fair Hearing, he and his Sermon were 
jultly, fairly, and legally condemned ; that he had 
read the Cafe of Dr Sacbewrel, and thought he 
could charge his Memory, that the Judgment of 
the Houfe of Lords in that Cafe was, That the 
mayor and Sheriffs of London and Middlefex, only 
mould attend the Burning of the Sermon, and not 
the Aldermen ; and farther he remembred, that 
the Order upon that Judgment, was only directed 
to the Sheriffs of London, and not even to the 
Mayor, who did not attend the doing it; and 
farther faid, that would Mr. Recorder fhew, that 
the Governour and Council had fuch Authority 
as the Houfe of Lords, and that the Papers 
ordered to be burnt were in like manner legally 
profecuted and condemned, there the Cate of 
Doctor Saehcverel might be to the Purpofe ; but 
without fhewing that, it rather proved that a 
Cenfure ought not to be pronounced, till a fair 
Trial by a competent and legal Authority were 
firlt had. Mr. Recorder was dented to produce 
the Books from whence he cited his Authori- 
ties, that the Court might judge of them them- 
felves, and was told, that if he cold produce 
fufficient Authorities to warrant this ORDER, 
they would readily obey it, but otherwife not. 
Upon which he faid, he did not carry his Books 
about with him. To which it was anfwer'd, he 
might fend for them, or order a Conflable to 
fetch tliem. Upon which he arofe, and at the 
lower End of the Table he mentioned, That Bi- 
fhop Burnet's Pafloral Letter, was order'd by the 
Houfe of Lords, to be burnt by the High Bailiff 
of fVeJlminfler * ; upon which he abruptly went 
away, without waiting for an Anfwer, or pro- 
mifing to bring his Books, and did not return 
fitting the Court. 

Alter Mr. Recorder's Departure, it was moved 
that the Proteji fhould beenter'd, to which it was 
anfwer'd, that the Proteji could not be entered with- 
out entering alfo the ORDER, and it was not fit 
to take any Notice of IT, and therefore it was 
propos'd that no Notice fhould be taken in their 
Books of either, which was unanimoufly agreed 
to by the Court. 

The Sheriff then moved, that the Court would 
direct their Whipper to perform the faid ORDER, 


* Bp. Kennet r ays, That this Letter feemd to be facrifie'd to a poor Jeft on the Author's Name [Bum Ct) 
Cmplcat Hijiof Eng. VoL. '3, P, 587, z Sd. in Lend, 17 j 9. 

Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 

tn which it was anfwered, That as he was the 
Officer of the Corporation, they would give no 
fuch Order. Soon after which the Court adjourned, 
and did not attend the Burning of the Papers. 
Afterwards about Noon, the Sheriff, after reading 
the Numbers of the feveral Papers which were 
ordered to be burnt, delivered them unto the 
Hands of his own Negroe, and ordered him to 
put them into the Fire, which he did, at which 
Mr. Recorder, Jeremiah Dunbar^ Efq ; and feve- 
ral of the Officers of the Garrifon attended. 

On the Lord's Day the \ftb of November, 
1734. I was taken and imprifoned by Virtue of a 
Warrant in thefe Words. 

« At a Council held at Fort George in New* 
1 York, the id Day of November, -j 7 34. 


His Excellency William Cosby, Captain General 
and Governour in Chief, &c. 

Mr. Clarke, Mr. Harrifon. Mr. Living/ion. 
Mr. Kennedy. Chief Jultice. Mr. Cortlandt. 
Mr. Lane. Mr. Hofmanden. 

< It is ordered that the Sheriff for the City of 

* New-York, do forthwith take and apprehend 

* John PelerZenger, for printing and publifhing 

* feveral Seditious Libels, difperfed throughout 

* his Journals or News Papers, entituled, The 

* New-Tor k Weekly Journal, containing the fr eft-eft 
1 Ad-vices, foreign and domejtick; as having in them 

* many Things, tending to raife Factions and 

* Tumults, among the People of this Province, 
' inflaming their Minds with Contempt of His 

* Majefly's Government, and greatly diflurbing 

* the Peace thereof, and upon his taking the faid 

* John Peter Zenger, to commit him to the Prijbn 

* or common Jail of the faid City and County. 

Fred. Morris, D. CI. Con. 

And being by Virtue of that Warrant fo impri- 
foned in the Jail, I was for feveral Days denied 
the ufe of Pen, Ink and Paper, and the Liberty 

of Speech with any Perfons. — — Upon 

my Commitment, fome Friends foon got a Habeas 
Corpus, to bring me before the Chief Juitice, in 
order to my Difcharge, or being bail'd ; on the 
Return whereof, on Wednefday the zoth of Novem- 

ber, iny Councii de'ivered Kxceptions to r v t 
Return, and the Chief Ju f lice ordered them to be 
argued publicklyat the City-Hall, on the Satur- 
day following. 

On Saturday the 23*/. of November, the faid 
Exceptions came to be argued, by James Jlext >■- 
der and William Smith, of Council fcr me, and 
by Mr. Attorney General and Mr. Warrcl, of 
Council againft mc, in Prefence of fome Hun- 
dreds of the Inhabitants ; where rr.v Councii (lav- 
ing the Benefit of Exception to the Illegality pf 
the Warrant) infilled that I might be admitted to 
reasonable Bail. And to fiiew that it was my 
Right to be {o, they offered Magna Charts, The 
Petition of Ri s ht, 3 Car. The Habeas Corpus Jr'f 
of 31 Car. 2. which dire&s the Sum in which 
Bail is to be taken, to be, ' according to the *j>ua 
1 lity of th'e Prifoner, and Nature of the Ojfi 
Alfo 2. Hawkins, Cap. 15. §. 5. in thefe Words, 
« But Jujlices tauft take Care, that under P; . 
c of demanding ///f dent Security, tiny do not ma, 

* fo excejjive a Demand, as in Effect amount: ,-, • 

* Denial of Bail, for this is look'd on as a gnat 
1 Grievance, and is complained of as fuch, by \ W. 
1 iff M. Sefs. 2d. by which it is declared, : 

« exceffive Bail ought not to be requir'd.' It wa> 
alfo fhewn, that the feven Bifhops, who in King 
James the \\d\ Time, were charged with the 
like Crime that I flood charged with, were admit- 
ted to Bail on their own Recognizance?, the 
Arch-Bifhop in 200 /. and each of the other fix in 
100 /. a piece only. Sundry other Authorities 
and Arguments were produced and infilled on by 
my Council, to piwe my Right to be admitted to 
moderate Bail, and to fuch Bail as was in my 
Power to give ; and fundry Parts of Hiftory the' 
produced, to fhew how much the requiring excei- 
five Bail had been refented by Parliament. And 
in order to enable the Court to judge what Surety 
was in my Power to give, 1 made Affidavit, 
That (my Debts paid) I was not worth Forty Pound* 
[the Tools of my Trade, and wearing Apparel excepted.) 

Some warm Expreffions (to fay no worfe of 
them) were dropt on this Occafion, fufficienth' 
known and refented by the Auditory, which for 
my Part I defire may be buried in Oblivion : 
Upon the whole it was Ordered that 1 might le 
admitted to Bail, my felf in 400 1. with tvjo Sure* 
ties, each in 200 1. and that I Jhoidd be remanded 
till I gave it. And as this was Ten Times 
more, than was in my Power to counter- fecure 
any Perfon in giving Bail forme, I conceived I 
could not aik any to become sny Bail on thefe 

C Ter;»s ; 


Terrtis ; and therefore I returned to Jail, where 

I la'- until Tuejda-; the zStb of "January, i 734-5 » 
b -nig the lall Day of that Term ; and the Grand 
Jury having found nothing againlt me, I expe&ed 

I I have bean discharged from my Imprifonment : 
15 ut my Hopes proved vain ; for the Attorney 
General then charged me by Information, for 
Printing and Publifhing Parts of my Journals 
No. j 3 and 23. as being falfe, fcandalous, mali- 
cijm, andfeditious. 

To this Information my Council appeared, 
and offered Exceptions, leaving a Blank for infert- 
ing the Judges Commilfions, which the Court 
were of Opinion not to receive till ti.ofe Blanks 
were filled up In the fucceeding Vacation the 
fudges gave Copies of their Commiffions ; and 
on Tucfday the 1 5//; of April laft, the firfl Day of 
the fucceeding Term,- my Council offered thefe 
Exceptions ; which were as follows. 

The Attorney General, 

"John Peter Zenger. 

On Information for 
a Mifdemeanour. 

« Exceptions humbly offered by John Peter 
' Zenger, to the Honouiable "James De Lancey, 
' Efq ; to judge in this Caufe. 

* The Defendant comes and prays Hearing of 
' the Commiffions, by Virtue of which the 

• Honourable James De Lancey, Efq ; claims the 
' Power and Authority to judge in this Caufe, 

• and it is read to him in thefe Words ; 

• G E O R G E the fecond, by the Grace of God, 
4 King of Great Britain, France andlrehna, King, 
' Defender of the Faith, &c. To Our t nifty and 

• will beloved James De Lancey, Efq ; We, repoj- 
' ! "g fpecial Trujl and Confidence in your Integrity, 

ility and Learning, have ajfigned, confiituted 

• 1 ltd appointed, and We do by thefe Prefents afjign 

• . tftitute and appoint you , the faid James De Lan- 

• cey, to be Chief Juttiee in and over our Province 

• of New- York, in America, in the Room of Lewis 
1 Morris, Efq', giving and by thefe Prefents grant- 

ut.fc you, full For. rr and lawful Authority < to 

/. /•, try, and d. i ermine all Pleas whatfoever, civil, 

« criminal and mixt, according to tbe Latvs, Sta- 

» ttttes and Ct/Jioms cf Our Kingdom of England, 

• and the Laws and Ufages of Our faid Province 

• of New-York, not being repugnant thereto, and 
« Executions of all Judgments of the faid Court to 

• aiuard, and to make fuch Rules and Orders in 

• the laid Court, as may be found convenient and ufe- 

• fiai and as near as may le agreeable to the RuUs 

' and Orders of Our Courts of King's Bench, Com- 

* mon Pleas, and Exchequer in England. To have, 

* hold, and enjoy the /aid Ofiice or Place of Chief juf 

* tice in and over Our faid Province, with all and 

* fngular the Rights, Privileges, Profits and Advati- 

* tages, Sallaries, Fees and Pcrquifites unto the faid 
1 Place belonging, or in any Ways appertaining, in 
« as full and ample Manner as any Perfon hereto- 

* fore Chief Juftice of Our faid Province hath held 

* and enjoyed, or of Right ought to have held and 
' enjoyed the fame, To you the faid James De Lan- 
« cey, Efq; for and DURING OUR WILL 
« AND PLEASURE. In Tefiimony whereof we 

* have caufed thefe Our Letters to be made Patent, 

* and the great Seal of Our Province of New- 
1 York, to be hereunto ajfxed. Witnefs our trufty 
« and well beloved WILLIAM COSBY Efq; Our 

* Captain General and Governour in Chief of Our 

* Province^ of New-York, New-Jerfey, and the 

* Territories thereon depending in America, Vice* 
« Admiral of the fame, and Colonel in our Army, at 

* Fort George in New- York, the Twenty fit ft Day 
« of Auguft, in the feventh Year of Our Reign, 
1 Annoq ; Domini, 1733. 

* Which being read and heard, the faid John 
' Peter Zenger, by Proteftation not confeffing nor 

* fubmitting to the Power of any other Perfon to 

* judge in this Caufe, doth except to the Power 
' of the Honourable James De Lancey, Efq ; afore- 

* faid, to judge in this Caufe, by Virtue of the 

* Commiflion aforefaid, for thefe Reafons, viz. 

1 \Jl. For that the Authority of a Judge of the 

* King's Bench, in that Part of Great Britain 

* called England, by which the Cognizance of 

* this Caufe is claimed, is by the faid Commiflion 
' granted to the Honourable James De Lancey^ 
' Efq; aforefaid, only during Pleafure; whereas that 
' Authority (by a Statue in that Cafe made and pro- 

* vided) ought to be granted during good Behaviour \ 

* id. For that by the faid Commiflion, the 

* Jurifdiftion and Authority of a Juftice of the 

* Court of Common Pleas at Weftminfter, in that 
' Part of Great Britain, called England, is granted 
« to the faid James De Lancey, Efq 5 which Jurif- 
' diftion and Authority, cannot be granted to, 

* and exercifed by, any one of the Jultices of the 
' King's Bench. 

* id. For that the Form of the faid Commiflion 
' is not founded on nor warranted by the Common 

* Law, nor any Statute of England, nor of Great 
« Britain, nor any Ad of AfTembly of this Colony. 

* ^th. For that it appears by the Commiflion 
« aforefaid, that the fame is granted under the 


Trval of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 

' Seal of this Colony, by His Excellency Wil- 
4 Ham Co/by, Efq; Governour thereof; and it 

* appears not, that the fame was granted, neither 
« was the fame granted, by and with the Advice 

* and Confent of His Majfcity's Council of this 
' Colony ; without which Advice and Confenr, 
' His Excellency could not grant the fame. 

* Wherefore, and for many other Defetts in 
« the {aid Commiflion, this Defendant humbly 

* hopes, that the Honourable 'James De Lancey, 
« Efq ; will not take Cognizance of this Caule, 
1 by Virtue of the Commiflion aforefaid. 

,, r r , C James Alexander. 
Was figned, 2 <„.„. c .., 
to ' (Jrtutam Smith. 

The Exceptions to the Commiflion of the 
Honourable Frederick Pbillipfe, Efq; were the fame 
with the foregoing, including therein his Com- 
miflion, which is in thefe Words. 

• GEORGE the fecond, by the Grace of 
« God, of Great Britain France, and Ireland, 

* King, Defender of the Faith, Sec. To Our trufiy 
« and well beloved Frederick Phillipfe, Efq; Greet- 
' ing : Whereas it is Our Care, that Justice be 

* duly adminiflerd to Our Subjeils within Our Pro- 

* vince of New- York, and Territories thereon 

* depending in America ; and Jre$ re P fi n g efpecial 

* Confidence in your Integrity, Ability and Learning, 

* have affigned, conflituted and appointed, and We 

* do by thefe Frefents ajjign, conjiitute and appoint 
' you, the faid Frederick Phillipfe, to be fecond J uf- 
' tice of Our Supream Court of J udicature for Our 
' Province of New-York, in the Room cf James 

* De Lancey, Efq', giving and granting with you 

* the [aid Frederick Phillipfe, full Pov;er and 

* Authority, with Our other Jujlices of Our faid 
' Supream Court, to hear, try and determine, all 

* Pleas wbatfoever, civil, criminal and mix t, accord- 
' ing to the Laws, Statutes and Cufioms of Our 

* Kingdom of England, and the Laws and Ufages 

* of Our Jaid Province of New-York, not being 

* repugnant thereto, and Executions of all Judg- 

* ments of the faid Court to award, and to act and 

* do all Tilings, which any of Our Jultices of either 
1 Bench, or Baron of the Exchequer, in Our faid 

* Kingdom of Engla?:d, may or ought to do ; and 

* aljo to ajfifl, in the making fuch Rules and Order: 

. * in Our faid Court, as Jhall be for the Good and 
B enefit of Our faid Province ; and a; near as con- 

veniently may be, to the Rules and Orders of Our 
[aid Courts in Our faid Kingdom of England : To 
have, hold and enjoy, the faid Office or Place of 
fcondjuliice of Our faid Province of New-York, 
together with all and fingular the Rights, Privi- 
leges, Sallaries, Fees, Perquifitcs, Pi efts and Ad- 
vantages thereto, now or at any Time heretofore 
belonging, or in any wife cf Right oppcrtaii::ng, 
unto you the faid Frederick Phillipfe, for anddur- 
ing our Pleafure. In Tejlimony whereof, U\ ha vt 
caufed thefe our Letters to be made Patent, and the 
Great Seal of Our laid Province of New-York to 
be hereunto affixed. IVitnefs Our trufiy and well 
^/oW WILLIAM COSBY, Efq; Our Captain 
General and Governour in Chief of Our Provinces 
of New York, New-Jerfey , and Territories thereon 
depending in America, Vice Admiral of the fame, 
and Colonel in Our Army, tjfe. at Fort George 
in New-York, the Twenty firft Day of Augult, 
in the Seventh Tear of Our Reign, Annoq ', Do- 
mini, 1733. 

Fred. Morris , D. Secry. 

Tuefday the \$tb of April, I 735. 
Mr. Alexander offered the above Exceptions to 
the Court, and prayed that they might be filed. 
Upon this the Chief Jultice faid to Mr. Alexander 
and Air Smith, That they ought well to confider 
the Confequences of what they offered. To which 
both anfvvered, That they had well confidered 
what they offered, and all the Confequences. And 
Mr. S?nith added, that he was lb well fatisfied of 
the Right cf the Subject to take an Exception to the 
Commifjion of a Judge, if he thought fuch Commiffion 

illegal, that he durit venture his Life 

upon that. Point. As to the Validity of the Excep- 
tions then offered, he faid, he took that to be a 
fecond Point ; but was ready to argue them both, 
if their Honours were plealed to hear him. To 
which the Chief Juftice replied,. That he would 
confider the Exceptions in the Morning ; and 
ordered the Clerk to bring them to him. 

Wednejday, the \bth of April, 1 735. 
The Chief Juftice delivered one of the Excep- 
tions to the Clerk, and Jullice Phillipfe the other, 
upon which Mr. Smith arofe and afked the Judge?, 
whether their Honours would hear him upon thete 
two Points, if. That the Subjecl has a Right to take 
fuch Exceptions, if they judged the Conmiffton il..-- 


gcii*. zdlj. That the Exceptions tendered autre legal 
tend valid. To which the Chief Juftice laid, That 
they would neither hear nor allow the Excepti- 
ons ; for (Hud he) you thought to have gained a great 
Deal of Applaufe and Popularity by oppofmg this 
Court, as you did the Court of Exchequer ; but you 
have brought it to that Point, That either, We mull 
go from the Bench, or you from the Bar: There- 
fore We exclude ycu and Mr. Alexander from the 
Bar ; and delivered a Paper to the Clerk, and 
ordered it to be entered, which the Clerk entered 
accordingly, and returned the Paper to the Chief 
Juilice ; after which the Chief Juitice ordered the 
Clerk to read publickly what he had written ; an 
atteiled Copy whereof follows. 

At a Supream Court of Judicature held for 
the Province of Nev.-.Tork, at the City Hall 
of the City of NfwYork, on Wedncfday, the 
1 6th Day of April, 1735. 


The Hon. James De Lancey, Efq ; Chief Juftice. 
The Hon. Frederick Phillipje,)!^; Second Juitice. 

* James Alexander, Efq ; and William Smith, 
« Attornies of this Court, having pre/umed (notwhh- 

* Handing they were forewarned by the Court of 
' their DISPLEASURE if they ihould do it) to 
1 J*g"> and having actually figfted, and put into Court, 
1 Exceptions, in the Name of John Peter Zenger ; 

* thereby denying the Legality of the Judges their 

* CommiJJicns ; tho' in the ufual Form, and the being 

* of this Supream Court, // is therefore ordered, 

* that for the faid Contempt, the faid James Alex- 
« ander, and William Smitii, be excluded from any 

* farther Practice in this Court, and that their 

* Names be ftruck out of the Roll of Attornies of 

* this Court. 


proper to afk that Queftion, Tl?al they might btw* 
biiv to have their Relief: He farther obferved to 
the Court, upon reading of the OrJer, That they 
were miftaken in their Wording of it, becaufe the 
Exceptions were only to their Commijfions, and not 
to the being of the Court, as is therein alledged ; 
and prayed that the Order might be altered 
accordingly. The Chief Juftice laid, they con- 
ceived the Exceptions were againft the Being of 
the Court. Both Mr. Alexander and Mr. Smith 
denied that they were, and prayed the Chief Juf- 
tice to point to the Place that contained iuch 
Exceptions ; and further added, That the Court 
might well exilr, tho' the Commiflions of all the 
Judges were void j which the Chief Juftice con- 
fefled to be true : And therefore they prayed again 
that the Order in that Point might be altered ; 
but it wa: denied. 

Then Mr. Alexander defired to know, whether 
they over-ruled or rejected the Exceptions ; the 
Chief Juftice faid, he did not underftand the Dif- 
ference ; to which faid Alexander replied, that if 
he rejected the Exceptions then they could not 
appear upon the Proceedings, and in that Cafe 
the Defendant was entitled to have them made 
Part of the Proceedings, by Bills of Exceptions : 
But if they over-ruled them, then by fo doing, 
they only declared them not fufficient, to hinder 
them from proceeding by virtue of thofe Com- 
miflions, and the Exceptions would remain as 
Records of the Court, and ought to be entered 
on the Record of the Caufeas Part of the Proceed- 
ings. The Chief Juftice faid, they muft remain 
upon the File, to warrant what we have done ; 
as to being Part of the Record of the Proceedings 
in that Caufe, he faid, you may fpeak to that 
Point to morrow. 


After the Order of the Court was read, Mr. 
Alexander afked whether it was the Order of Mr. 
Juftice Phillip/e as well as of the Chief Juftice ? 
To which both anfwered, that it was their Order; 
upon which Mr. Alexander added, That it was 

Fry day, April \%th. I 7 35. 
Mr. Alexander fjgnified to the Court, That on 
Wednefday laft their Honours had faid, That the 
James Lyne, CI. Council for Zenger might fpeak to the Point 
concerning the Rejecting or Over-ruling of Zen- 
gerh Exceptions on the Morrow : To which the 
Chief Juftice anfwered, That he faid, You may get 
fome Perfon to fpeak to that Point on the Morrovj, 
not meaning that the /aid Alexander Jhou Id fpeak to 
it, that being contrary to the Order. Both Mr. Alex- 

• This fir fi Point is largely treated on, in the Arguments of Van Dam's Council, in Support of their Plea 
to the Jurifdiction of the Supream Court, printed here above a Tear before that, from Pag. 14/035 
to nvhich no Anfwer has as yet appeared ') which Argument contains alfofome Part of the Arguments 
neceffary to fupport the zd. Point. 

Tryal of J OHN PETER Z E N G E R y & c . 

A uder and Mr. Smith faid, they underftooJ it 

They both alfo mentioned, that it was a Doub"-, 
whether by the Words of the Order they wore 
debarred of their Practice as Council, as well as 
Attorneys, whereas they pradliied in both Capa- 
cities ? To which the Chief Juflice anfwered 
That the Order was plain, That James Alexan- 
der, Efq; and William Smith, were Marred anil 
excluded from their 'whole PraSlice at this Burr, 
and that the Order 'was intended to harr their a&ing 
both as Council and as jittornies, and that it could 
not be conftrued other-wife. And it being a feed Mr. 
Philipfe, Whether he underilood the Order fo ; 
he anfwered, that he did. 

Upon this Exclufion of my Council I petitioned 
the Court to order Council for my Defence, who 
thereon appointed John Chambers, Efq; who 
pleaded Not Guilty for me to the Information. 
But as to the Point. Whether my Exceptions fhould 
be part of the Record as --was moved by my former 
Council. Mr. Chambers thought not proper to 
fpeak to it ; Mr. Chambers alfo moved, that a 
certain Day in the next Term, might be appointed 
for my Tryal, and for a Struck 'Jury ; whereupon 
my Tryal was ordered to be on Monday the qtb 
of JuguJ}, and the Court would confider till the 
firft Day of next Term, whether I fhould have a 
Struck Jury or not, and ordered that the Sheriff 
fhould in the mean Time, at my Charge, return 
the Freeholders Book. 

At a Supream Court of Judicature held for the 
Province of New-2~ork, before the Honoura- 
ble James De Lancey, Efq; Chief Juilice of 
the faid Province ; and the Honourable Fre- 
derick Philipfe, Efq; fecond Juilice of the faid 
On Tuefday the zqtb of july, 1735. the Court 
opened, and on Motion of Mr. Chambers for a 
Struck Jury, purfuant to the Rule of the preceding 
Term, the Court were of Opinion, that I was enti- 
tled to have a Struck Jury ; and that Evening at 
five of the Clock, fome of my Friends attended 
the Clerk, for {hiking the Jury ; when to their 
Surprize, the Clerk initead of producing the Free- 
holders Book, toftrike the Jury out of it, in their 
Prefence as ufual, he produced a Lite 0^48 Per- 
fons, who, he faid he had taken out of the Free- 
holders Book ; my Friends told him, that a great 
Number of thefe Perfons were not Freeholders, 
that others were Perfons holding Commilhons 
and Offices at the Govemour's Pleafure, that 

others were of the late difplaced Migifirate? of 
this City, who mull be fuppofed to h.ivc Rckiu- 
ment againit me, for what I kid printed cpjl- 
cernir.g them ; that others were the Govcqiouft 
Baker, Taylor, Shoemaker, Candiemakei .Jo'uk r, 
&c* that as to the few indifferent Men that were 
upon that Lift, they had Reafon to believe {as 
they had heard) that Mr. Attorney had a Lilt of 
them, toftrike them out; and therefore requd I 
that he would either bring the Freeholders Book, 
and chufe out of it 48 unexceptionable Men in 
their Prefence, as ufual ; or elfe, that he- 
hear their Objections particularly to the I, ;• • 
offered, and that he would put impartial Men in 
the Place of thofe againit whom they could fncA 
jutl Objections. Notwithstanding this, the Clerk 
refufed to ftrike the Jury out of the Freehold, rs 
Book, and refufed to hear any Objections to the 
Berfons on his Lift, but told my Friends, if ajiy 
Objections they had to any Perfons, they might 
ftrike thofe Perfons out ; to which they aniwered 
there would not remain a Jury, if they fir uck out 
all the exceptionable Men, and according to the 
Cuftom, they had only a Right to ftrike out 12. 
But finding no Arguments could prevail with 
the Clerk to hear their Objections to his Lift, nor 
to ftrike the Jury as ufuaJ, Mr. C '-ambers told 
him, he muit apply to the Court, which the next 
Morning he did, and the Court upon hit Motion, 
Ordered, That the 48 Jhould be ft ruck out of the 
Freeholders Book as uft/al, in the Prefence of the Par- 
ties, and that the Clerk Jhould hear Objections to 
Perfons propofed to be of the 48, and allow of fnch 
Exceptions as were juft. In Purfuance of that 
Order, a Jury was that Evening ilruck, to the 
Satisfaction of both Parties, who my Friends and 
Council infifted on no Objections but want of 
Freeholders; and tho' they did not infift, that Mr. 
Attorney General (who was affifcd by Mr. 
W a £g e >) fhould fhcvv any particular Caufe/'againft 
any Perfons he difliked, but acquiefced that any 
Per/on he difliked fhould be out of the 48. 

Before James De Lancey, Efq; Chief Jufficc or" 
the Province of New-Fork, and Frederick Philipfe 
fecond Judge, came on my Tryal, on the fourth 
Day of Auguft, 1735. upon an Information for 
printing and publifhing two News Papers, which 
were called Libels again:! our Governourand his 

The Defendant John Peter Zenger being called 

And the Sherif returned his Ventre for the Tryal 
of this faid. Cauie. 

D M,. 


Mr. Chambers of Council for the Defendant, I 
humbly move Your Honours chnt we may have 
Juftice done by the Sheriff, nnd that he may return 
the Names of the Jurois in the fame Order as 
they were It ruck. 

Chief Juftice. How is that? Are they not fo 
returned ? 

Mr. Ch. No, they are not : For fome of the 
Names that were lalt fetdewn in the Panne), are 
new placed firft, 

Ch. J. Make out that, and you fh all be righted. 

Mr. Ch. 1 have the Copy of the Pannel in my 
Hand, as the Juror? were ftrock, and if the Clerk 
will produce'the Original figned by Mr Attor- 
ney and my fe!f. Your Honour will fee our 
Complaint is juit. 

Ch. J. Clerk, is it fo? Look upon that Copy ; is 
it a true Copy of the Pannel as it was fl ruck? 

Clerk. Yes, I believe it is, 

Ch. J. Aoto cavic the Karnes of the Jurors to 
be mijplaced in the Pannel annexed to the Venire ? 

Shcrif, 1 have returned the Jurors in the lame 
Order in which the Clerk gave them to me. 

Ch. J. Let the Kami s of the Jurors be ranged 
in the Order tlrv were Jhuck, agreeable to the Copy 
here in Court. 

Which was done accordingly. And the Jury, 
whofe Names were as follow?, were called and 

Hermanns Rutf/rs, Stanly Holmes, Ed-card 
Man John Bel/, Samuel Weaver, Andries 
Marfchalk, Egbert vim Borfon, Thomas Hunt / 
Form. Benjamin Hddreth, Abraham Kettltas, 
John GoeUt, Hoc ah s Wendozer. 

Mr. Attorney General opened the Iuformatior, 
which was as follows. 
Mr. Attorney. May it ptesrfe Your Honour?, 
and you Gentlemen of the Jury ; the Information, 
now before the Court, and to which the Defen- 
dant Zenger has pleaded Nat Guilty, is an Infor- 
mation for printing and publiihing a Falfe, Scan- 
daloui and Seditious Libel, in which his Excellency 
the Governour of this Province, who is the king's 
immediate Representative here, is greatly and 
unjoitly fcandalized, as a Perion that has no 
Regard to Law nor juftice: with much more, as 
will appear upon reading the Informations. This 
oi Libelling is what has always been difcouraged 
as a Thing that tends to create Differences among 
Men ill Blood among the People, and oftentimes 
great Bloodfhed between the Party Libelling and 
tne Party Libelled. There can be no Doubt but 

A N A R R A T I V E of the 

your Gentlemen of the Jury will have the fame ill 
Opinion of fuch Practices, as the Judges have 
always fhewn upon fuch Occafions : But I fhall 
fay no more at this Time, until you hear the 
Information, which is as follow*. 

* New York, Supream Court. 
* Of the Term of January, in the Eighth Year 
1 of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King 
• GEORGE the fecond, &t. 

T}E it remembred, That Rich- 

Ke ~.u -York, fs. 

ard Bradley, Efq ; Attor- 
ney General of Our Sovereign Lord the Kine, 
for the Province of Neiv-York, who for Our faid 
Lord the King in this Parts Profecute?, in his 
own proper Peifon comes here into the Court 
of Our faid Lcrd the King, and for Our faid 
Lord the King gives the Court here to 
underftand, and be informed, That John 
Peter Zenger, late of the City of Neiv-York, 
Printer, (being a feditious Perion, and a fre- 
quent Printer and Publifher of faile News and 
feditious Libels, and wickedly and malicioufly 
devifing the Government of Our faid Lord the 
King of this His M.ijeitv's Province of New- 
}>/, under the Adminiltration of His Excel- 
lency William Cojby, Efq ; Captain General 
and Governour in Chief of the faid Province to 
traduce, icandalize and vilify, and His Excel- 
lency the faid Governour, and the Minilters and 
Officers of Our faid Lord the King of and for 
the faid Province to bring into Sufpicion and 
ti.e ill Opinion of the Subjects of Our faid Lord 
the King relidmg within the laid Province) the 
Twenty eighth Day of January, in the feventh 
Year of the Reign of Our Sovereign Lord George 
the fecond, by the Grace of God of Great Bri- 
tain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of 
the Faith, c5V. at the City of New-York, did 
falfly, feditioufly and fcandaloujly print and pub- 
lif!', and caule to be printed and pubiifhed, a 
certain falfe, malicious, feditious, fcandalous Libel, 
entituled, 7 he New-York Weekly Journal, con- 
taining the frcfoeji Advices foreign and domefick ; 
in which Libel (of and concerning His Excel- 
lency the faid Governou r , and the Minilters 
and Officers of Our faid Lord the King, of and for 
the faid Province) among other Tnings therein 
contained are the Words * Your 
1 in Print at la/,', gives a Pieafure to many, tho* 
' molt wilh you had ccme fairly into the ojtn 
' Fie.d, artd not appeared behind Retrenchments 

" niaue 


[ made of the fuppofed Laws againft Libelling, 
' and of what other Men have laid and clone be- 
' fore ; thefe Retrenchments, Gentlemen, may 
' foon be fhewn to yoa and all Men to be weak, 
and to have neither Law nor Reafon for their 
' Foundation, fo cannot long itand you in ftead : 
; Therefore, you had much better as yet leave 
: them, and come to what the People of this City 
' and Province (the City and Province of New- 
'■ York meaning) think are the Points in Queftion 
{to wit) They (the People of the City and Pro- 
vince of New-York meaninc) think as Matters 
now /land, that their LIBERTIES and PRO- 
PERTIES are precarious, and that SLAVERY 
is like to be int ailed on them and their Pcfteritx, if 
fame pajl Things be not amended, and this they 
collect from many paji Proceedings? (Meaning 
many the paft Proceedings of His Excel- 
lency of the faid Ocvernour, and of the Minillers 
and Officers of our faid Lord the King, of and 
for the faid Province.) And the faid Attorney 
General of our faid Lord the King, for Our 
faid Lord the King, likevvife gives the Court 
here to underftand and be informed, that 
the faid John Peter "Lenger afterwards (to 
wit) the eighth Day of April, iu the feventh 
Year of the Reign of Our laid Lord the 
King, at the City of New-York aforefaid, 
did Jalfly, feditioujly and fcandaloufly print and 
publiih, and cauie to be printed and pnbiiihed, 
another fa IJly, malicious, [editions, and fcandalous 
Libel, entitled, The New-York Weekly "Journal, 
containing thefre/he/l Advices foreign and dome/lick. 
In which Libel, (of and concerning the Go- 
vernment of the faid Province of New York, 
and of and concerning His Excellency the faid 
Governour, and the Minillers and Officers of 
Our faid Lord the King, of and for the faid Pro- 
vince) among other Things therein contained, 
are thefe Words, One of our Neighbours (one of 
the Inhabitants of New-Jcrfey meaning) being 
in Company, obferving the Strangers (iome of 
the Inhabitants of New-York meaning) full cf 
Complaints, endeavoured to perfwade ttrem to re- 
move into Jerfey ; to which it was replied, that 
would be leaping out of the Frying Pan into the 
Fire ; for, fays he, Que both are under the fame 
Governour (His Excellency the faid Governour 
meaning) and your AJfc?nbly have /hewn with a 
Witnefs what is to be expected from them ; one 
that was then moving to Penfilvania, (meaning 
ore that was then remo\ing from New-Yorx, 
with intent to rende at Ptnflvania) to which 
Place it is reported fever al confdcrable Men are 
removing (from New-York meaning) exprijfed in 

I I 

" Terms very moving, much Concern for the Cir- 
" cumjhuiccs >.T New- York (the bad Circumihnces 
" of the Province and the People of Ncw-Yo>k 
" meaning) feemed to t '.-ink thrm very much -.wing to 
" the Influence that fine Men (whom he called 
" Tool) had in the Administration (meaning the 
" Adminiltration cf Government of the faicfPro- 
" vince of New-York) faid he was now gum 
" from them, and was not to be hurt by any Mea/'.rrs 
1 ' they fjotild take, but could not help having fomr 
" Concern for the IVelfarc of his Count; \ Men, and 
" Jhould be glad to hear that the Affembly (meaning 
«' the General Affembly of the Province of A',-" 
M York) would exert them/elves as became tbftn, I 
" /hewing thut they have the Intereft of their Cau ■ 
" more at Heart, than the Gratification cf a> . pi 

* vate View 0/ any of their Members, or being at 
" all aff'eiled, by the Smiles or Frowns of a Cover - 
" nour, (His Excellency the faid Governour 
" meaning) both v.-hich ought equally to be dtfpifd, 
" nvhen the Inter e/l of their Country is at Stake. 
" You, fays he, complain of the Lawyers, but I 
" think the Law it felf is at an End, WE (the 
" People of the Province of New-York itfeattii 


" the Province of New-York meaning) BY 
" A GOVERNOR PLEASES, (His Excellency 
4< the faid Governour meaning) MEN OP 
" SITOR OF ANY LAW : Who is then in that 
" Province (meaning the Province of New York ) 
'* that call (can call meaning) any Thine his ci:, 
" or enjoy any Liberty (Liberty meaning) longer 
" than thofe in the Aithinifirathn (meaning the 
" Adminltration of Government of the faid Pro- 
" vince of New-Ycrk) will condefend to let them 
" do it, for which Kealbn I have left it, (the Pro- 
" vince of New York meaning; as I bilicvr ••. 

'' will.' To the great Diiturbance of the Peace 
' of the faid Province of New-York, to the Great 
' Scandal cf Our faid Lord the King, of His 
' Excellency the faid Govomor, ana of all 
1 others concern'd in the Adminiltration of 
' the Government of tlie faid Province, and 
' again!! the Peace cf Our Sovereign Lo.d the 

* King His Crown Dignity, c5r. Where- 
' upon the faid Attorney General of 0;ir I 

' Lo^ 


* Lord the King, fur Our Pud Lord the King, prays 
the AdvHcment of the Court here, in the Pre- 

* mifes, and the due Procefs of the Law, againll 
' him the faid 'John Peter Zenger, in this Part to 
' be done, to anfwer to Our faid Lord the King 
' of and in the Premifes, &c. 

1 R. Bradley, Attorney General. 

To this Information the Defendant has pleaded 
Not Guilty, and we are ready to prove it. 

Mr. Chambers has no! been pleafed to fviourme 
with his Notes, fo I cannot, for Tear of doing 
him Inju/lice, pretend to Jet down lis Argu- 
ment ; But here Mr. Chambers fet forth very 
clearly the Nature of a Libel, the great Allow - 
ances that ought to be made for what Men 
/peak or write. That in all Libels the) e mufi 
be fome particular Perfons fo clearly pointed 
cut^ that no Doubt mujl remain about who is 
meant ; That he was in hopes Mr. Attorney 
would fail in his Proof, as to this Point ; and 
therefore deft red that he would. go on to examine 
his Witnejfrs. 
Then Mr. Hamilton, who at the Requeft of 
fome of my Friends, was fo kind as to come 
from Philadelphia to afiiil me on the Tryal, fpoke. 
Mr. Hamilton, May it pleafe your Honour; 
I am concerned in this Caufe on the Part of Mr. 
Zenger the Defendant. The Information againft 
my Client was fent me, a few Days before I left 
Home, with fome Initructions to let me know 
how far I might rely upon the Truth of thofe 
Parts of the Papers fet forth in the Information, 
and which are faid to be libellous. And tho' I 
am perfectly of the Opinion with the Gentleman 
who has jull now fpoke, on the fame Side with 
me, as to the common Courfe of Prpceedings, I 
mean in putting Mr. Attorney upon proving, 
that my Client printed and published thofe Papers 
mentioned in the Information ; yet I cannot 
think it proper for me (without doing Violence 
to my own Principles) to deny the Publication of 
a Complaint, which I think is the Right of every 
free-born Subject to make, when the Matters fo 
published can be fupported with Truth ; and 
therefore I'll fave Mr. Attorney the Trouble of 
Examining his Witnefles to that Point; and I do 
for my Client) confefs, that he both printed and 
nublilbed the two News Papers fet forth in the 
1 nformation, and I hope in fo doing he has com- 
mitted no Crime. 

Mr. Attorney, Then if Your Honour pleafes, 
ilnce Mr. Hamilton has confefTed the Fact, 1 think 

our Witnefles may be difcharged ; we have no 
further Occafion tor them. 

Mr. Hamilton, If you brought them here, only 
to prove the Printing and Publishing of the't 
News Papers, we have acknowledged that, and 
fhall abide by it. 

Here my Journeyman and two Sons (with feve^al 
others fubpocna d by Mr. Attorney, to give Evi- 
dence againfl me) were difcharged, and there 
was Silence in the Court for fovie Time. 

Mr. Chief Jullice. Well Mr. Attorney, will 
you proceed t 

Mr. Attorney, Indeed, Sir, as Mr. Hamilton has 
confefTed the Printing and Publifhing thefe Libels, 
I think the Jury mult find a Verdict for the King ; 
for fuppoling they were true, the Law fays that 
they are not the lefs libellous for that ; nay indeed 
the Law fays, their being trqf is an Aggravation 
of the Crime. 

Mr. Hamilton, Not fo neither, Mr. Attorney, 
there are two Words to that Bargain. I hope it is 
not our ban: Printing and Publifhing a Paper, that 
will make it a Libel : Vou will have fomething 
more to do, before you make my Client a Libel- 
ler ; for the Words themfelves mull be libellous, 
that is, falfe t fcandahus, and feditious, or elfe we 
are not guilty. 

As Mr. Attorney has not been plea fed to favour us 
with his Argument^ which he read, or with the 
Notes of it, we cannot take upon us to fet down 
his Words, but only to Jbevo the Book Cafes he 
cited, and the general Sc^pe of his Argument 
which he drew from thofe Authorities. He ob- 
ferved upon the Excellency, as well as Ufe of 
Government, and the great Regard and Reverence, 
which had been confantly paid to it, both under 
the Law and the Gofpel. That by Government 
nve were protested in our Lives, Religion and Pro- 
perties ; and that for thefe Reafcns, great Care 
had a/ways been taken to prevent eviry Thing 
that might tend to fcaudal;z.e Magifirates, and 
others concerned in the Adminijlration of the Go- 
vernment, especially the fupream Magiflrate. 
And that there were many Inflances of very fe- 
vere Judgments, and of Punijbments inflicled 
upon Jiich, as had attempted to bring the Govern- 
ment into Contempt ; by publifhing falfe and fcur- 
rilous Libels againfl it, or by /peaking evil and 
fandalous Words of Men in Authority ; to the 
great Dijiurbance of the publick Peace. And to 
fupport this, he cited, 5 Coke 121. fuppofe it 


Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &e. 

Ihould be 125.) Wood's Inftit. 430. 2 Lilly 
168. 1 Hawkins 73. 11. 6. From thefe 
Books he injijled, that a Libel v:as a malicious 
Defamation of any Per/on, expreffed either in 
Printing or Writing, Signs or Piilures, to afperfe 
the Refutation of one that is alive, or the Me- 
mory of one that is dead j if he is a private Man, 
the Libeller deferves a fevere P unifhment , but 
if it is again/} a Magijlrate or other publick Per- 
Jon, it is a greater Offence ; for this concerns not 
only the Breach of the Peace, but the Scandal of 
the Government i for what greater Scandal of 
Government can there be, than to have corrupt 
or wicked Magiftrates to be appointed by the 
King, to govern his Subjecls under him ? And a 
greater Imputation to the State cannot be, than to 
fuffer fuch corrupt Men to Jit in the facred Seat 
of Juflice, or to have any Meddling in, or con- 
cerning the Adminijlration of Jujlice : And from 
the fame Books Mr. Attorney injifted, that whether 
the Per/on defamed is a private Man or a Ma- 
gi/Irate, whether living or dead, whether the 
Libel is true or falfe, or if the Party againjl whom 
it is made is of good or evil Fame, it is never - 
thelefs a Libel. For in a fettled State of Go- 
vernment, the Party grieved ought to complain for 
every Injury done him, in the ordinary Courfe of 
the Law. And as to its Publication, the Law 
had taken fo great Care of Men's Reputations, 
that if one malicioufly repeats it, or Jbigs it, in 
the Prefence of another, or delivers the Libel or 
a Copy of it over, to fcandalize the Party, he is 
to be punijhed as a Publifber of a Libel. He faid 
it was likewife evident, that Libelling was an 
Offence againjl the Law of God. Atis xxiii. 5. 
Then faid Paul, I will not, Brethren, that he 
was the High- Prieft : For it is written, thou 
fhalt not fpeak Evil of the Ruler of the Peo- 
ple. 2 Pet. x. 1 1 . Defpife Government, pre- 
sumptuous are they, felf-willed, they are not 
afraid to fpeak evil of Dignities, &c. He 
then infjled that it was clear, both by the Law 
of God and Man, That it was a very great Of- 
fence to fpeak evil of , or to revile thofe in Au- 
thority over us ; and that Mr. Zenger had of- 
fended in a mojl notorious and grojs Manner, in 
/Vandalizing His Excellency our Governor, who is 
the King's immediate Reprefentative, and the fu- 
preme Magi/irate of this Province : For can there 
be any Thing more fcandalous faid of a Governor 
than what is publifhed in thofe Papers ? Nay, not 
only the Governor, but both the Council and Affem- 
bly are fcandalized; for there it is plainly faid, 


That as Matters now Hand, their Libertiei and 
Properties are precarious, and that Slavery is 
like to be entailed on them and their Pofterity. 
And then again Mr. Zcr.ger fays, The Aflembly 
ought to dMpife the Smiles or Frowns or a 
Governor j That he thinks the Law is at an 
End ; That we fee Mens Deeds deftro/ed. 
Judges arbitrarily difplated, new Courts erected, 
without Confem of ihe Legiflature ; And, That 
it feems Tryals by Juries are taken away when 
a Governor pleale; ; That none can call any 
Thing their own, longer than thoie in the 
Adminiitration will conuefcend to let them do 

it. And Mr. Attorney added, 

that he did not know what could be Jaid in Dcfen. e 
of a Man, that had fo notorioujly fcandalizd 
the Governor a?id principal Magiftrates and Of- 
ficers of the Government, by charging them v:iib 
depriving the People of their Rights and Liber- 
ties, and taking away Try a Is by furies, and in 

/hort, putting an End to ihe Law) itfelf. If 

this was not a Libel, he faid, he did not know 
what was one. Such Perfons as will take thofe 
Liberties with Governors and Magijlratet, he 
thought, ought to fuffer for fir ring up Sedition and 
Dijcontent among the People. And concluded by 
faying, that the Government had been very much 
traduced and expofed by Mr. Zenger, before he 
was taken Notice of; that at lajl it was the 
Opinion of the Governor and Council, that he 
ought not to be fuffer ed to go on, to diftutb the 
Peace of the Government ; by publijhing fuch Libels 
againjl the Governor, and the chief Perfons in the 
Government ; and therefore they had direfied this 
Profecution, to put aS top to this fcttndalous and wick- 
ed Practice, of libelling and defaming His Majejlys 
Government and difurbing His Majefiy's Peace. 
Mr. Chambers thenjumd up to the Jury, obferving 
with great Strength of Reafon on Mr. Attorney $ 
Defied of Proof, that the Papers in the Informa- 
tion were Falfe, Malicious or Seditious, which 
was incumbent on him to prove to the fury, ant 
without which they could not en their Oath; fay, 
That they were fo, as charged. 
Mr. Hamilton. May it pleafe Your Honour ; 
I agree with Mr. Attorney, that Government is 
a facred Thing, but I differ very widely from 
him when he would infinuate, that the jult Com- 
plaints of a Number of Men, who fuffer under a 
bad Adminillration, is libelling that Adminiilra- 
tion. Had I believed that to be Law, I ihould 
not have given the Court the Trouble oi hearing 
any Thing tha; I could fay in this Caufe. I own, 
E when 


when I read the Information, I had not the Art 
to find out (without the Help of Mr. Attorney's 
Inr.uendCs) that the Governor was the Perlon 
meant in every Period of that News Paper ; and 
I was inclined to believe, that they were wrote 
by fome, who from an extraordinary Zeal for 
Liberty, had mifconflrued the Conduft of fome 
Perfons in Authority into Crimes ; and that Mr. 
Attorney out of his too great Zeal for Power, 
had exhibited this Information, to correal the In- 
difcretion of my Client ; and at the fame Time, to 
fhew his Superiors the great Concern he had, left 
they mould be treated with any undue Freedom. 
But from what Mr. Attorney has juft now faid, 
to wit, That this Profecution was directed by the 
Governor and Council, and from the extraordinary 
Appearance of People of all Condition, which I 
obferve in Court upon this Occafion, I have Rea- 
fon to think, that thofe in the Adminiflration have 
by this Profecution fomething more in View, and 
that the People believe they have a good deal more 
at Stake than I apprehended : And therefore, as 
it is become my Duty, to be both plain and par- 
ticular in this Caufe, I beg Leave to befpeak the 
Patience of the Court. 

I was in hopes, as that terrible Court, where 
thofe dreadful Judgments were given, and that Law 
eflablifhed, which Mr. Attorney has produced for 
Authorities to fupport this Caufe, was long ago laid 
afide, as the moft dangerous Court to the Liberties 
of the People of England that ever was known in 
that Kingdom; that Mr. Attorney knowing this, 
would not have attempted to fet up a Star-Cham- 
ber here, nor to make their Judgments a Precedent 
to us : For it is well known, that what would have 
been judg'd Treafon in thofe Days for a Man to 
fpeak, I think, has fince not only been praclifed 
as lawful, but the contrary Doclrine has been held 
to be Law. 

In Brew/ler's Cafe, for Printing, That the Sub- 
jects mijht defend their Rights and Liberties by Arms, 
in cafe the King Jhould go about to defiroy them, he 
was told by the Chief Jullice that it was a great 
Mercy, he was not proceeded againft for his Life ; 
for that to fay, the King could be refilled by Arms 
in any Cafe whatfoever, was ex pre fs Treafon. And 
yet we fee fince that Time, Dr. Sache-verell was 
fentenced in the higheft Court in Great-Britain, 
for faving, That fuch a Refinance was not lawful. 
Bcfides, as Times have made very great Changes 
in the Laws of England, fo in my Opinion there 
is good Reafon that Places fhould do fo too. 

Is it not furprifing to fee a Subject, upon his 
receiving a Commiflion from the King to be a 


Governor of a Colony in America, immediately 
imagining himfelf to be veiled with all the Pre- 
rogatives belonging to the facred Perfon of his 
Prince f And which is yet more aftonifhing, to 
fee that a People can be fo wild as to allow 
of and acknowledge thofe Prerogatives and 
Exemptions, even to their own Dellruftion ? 
Is it fo hard a Matter to dillinguifh between 
the Majefly of our Soveraign, and the Power 
of a Governor of the Plantations ? Is not this 
making very free with our Prince, to apply that 
Regard, Obedience and Allegiance to a Subject 
which is due only to our Soveraign ? And yet 
in all the Cafes which Mr. Attorney has cited, 
to fhew the Duty and Obedience we owe to the 
Supreme Magiftrate, it is the King that is there 
meant and underllood, tho' Mr. Attorney is pleafed 
to urge them as Authorities to prove the Heinouf- 
nefs of Mr. Zengers Offence againft the Governor 
of New-Tori. The feveral Plantations are com- 
pared to fo many large Corporations, and per- 
haps not improperly ; and can any one give an 
Inllance, that the Mayor or Head of a Corpo- 
ration ever put in a Claim to the facred Rights 
of Majefty ? Let us not (while we are pretending 
to pay a great Regard to our Prince and His 
Peace) make bold to transfer that Allegiance to a 
Subjedl, which we owe to our King only. What 
ftrange Dodlrine is it, to prefs every Thing for 
Law here which is fo in England? I believe we 
fhould not think it a Favour, at prefent at leaft, 
to eftablifh this Pra&ice. In England fo great a 
Regard and Reverence is had 
to the Judges, * that if any * C. $. Infi. 140. 
Man ftrikes another in Weft- 
minjler-Hall, while the Judges are fitting, he 
fhall lofe his Right-Hand, and forfeit his Land 
and Goods for fo doing. And tho' the Judges 
here claim all the Powers and Authorities within 
this Government, that a Court of King's Bench 
has in England, yet I believe Mr. Attorney will 
fcaicely fay, that fuch a Punifhment could be 
.legally inflicted on a Man for committing fuch an 
Offence, in the Prefence of the Judges fitting in 
any Court within the Province of New -York. 
The Reafon is obvious ; a Quarrel or Riot in 
New-York cannot pofiibly be attended with thofe 
dangerous Confequences that it might in Weft- 
min/ier-Hall; nor (I hope) will it be alledged, 
that any Mifbehaviour to a Governor in the Plan- 
tations will, or ought to be judged of or 
punifhed, as a like Undutifulnefs would be to 
our Soveraign. From all which, I hope Mr. 
Attorney will not think it proper to apply his 


Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 

Law-Gafes (to fupport the Caufe of his Governor) 
which have only been judged, where the King's 
Safety or Honour was concerned. It will not be 
denied but that a Freeholder, in the Province of 
Neixi-York, has as good a Right to the fole and 
feparate Uie of his Lands, as a Freeholder in 
England, who has a Right to bring an Action of 
Trefpafs againft his Neighbour, for fuffering his 
Horle or Cow to come and feed upon his Lands, 
or eat his Corn, whether inclofed or not inclofed ; 
and yet I believe it would be looked upon as a 
Strange Attempt for one Man here to bring an 
Action againft another, whole Cattle and Horfes 
feed upon his Grounds not inclofed, or indeed for 
eating and treading down his Corn, if that were 
not inclofed. Numberlefs are the Inftances of 
this kind that might be given, to fhew, that 
what is good Law at one Time, and in one Place, 
is not fo at another Time, and in another Place ; 
fo that I think the Law feems to expect, that in 
thefe Parts of the World, 'Men fhould take care, 
by a good Fence, to preferve their Property from 
the Injury of unruly Beafts. And perhaps there 
may be as good a Reafon why Men mould take 
the fame Care, to make an honeft and upright 
Conduct, a Fence and Security againft the Injury 
of unruly Tongues. 

Mr. Attorney. I don't know what the Gentle- 
man mean?, by comparing Cafes of Freeholders 
in England with the Freeholders here. What has 
this Cafe to do with Actions of Trefpafs, or 
Men's Fencing their Ground ? The Cafe before 
the Court is, whether Mr. Zenger is guilty of 
Libelling his Excellency the Governor of New- 
York, and indeed the whole Adminiftration of the 
Government ? Mr. Hamilton has confeffed the 
Printing and Publishing, and I think nothing is 
plainer, than that the Words in the Information 
are fcandahus, and tend to Sedition, and to di/quiet 
the Minds of the People of this Province. And if 
fuch Papers are not Libels, I think it may be faid, 
there can be no fuch Thing as a Libel. 

Mr. Hamilton. May it pleafe your Honour, I 
cannot agree with Mr. Attorney ; for tho' I freely 
acknowledge that there are fuch Things as Libels, 
yet I muft infift at the fame time, that what my 
Client is charged with, is not a Libel; and I 
obferved juft now, that Mr. Attorney, in defining 
a Libel, made uie of the Words, fcandahus, fedi- 
tious, and tend to dif quiet the People ; but (whether 
with Defign, or not, I will not fay) he omitted 
the Word falfe. 

Mr. Attorney. I think I did not omit the Word 
falfe : But it has been faid already, that it may 


be a Libel, notwithstanding it may be true. 

Mr. Hamilton. In this I muft ftill differ with 
Mr. Attorney ; for I depend upon it, we are to 
be tried upon this Information now before the 
Court and Jury, and to which we have pleaded 
Not Guilty, and by it we are charged with Printing 
and Publishing a certain falfe, malicious, fediticus 
and fcandahus Libel. This Word falfe muft have 
fome Meaning, or elfe how came it there ? I hope 
Mr. Attorney will not fay he put it there by 
Chance, and I am of Opinion his Information 
would not be good without it. But to fhew that 
it is the principal Thing, which, in my Opinion, 
makes a Libel, I put the Cafe, the Information 
had been for Printing and Publishing a certain 
true Libel, would that be the fame Thing ? Or 
could Mr. Attorney fupport fuch an Information 
by any Precedent in the Englijh Law ? No, the 
Falfhood makes the Scandal, and both make the 
Libel. And to fhew the Court that I am in good 
Earneft, and to fave the Court's Time, and Mr. 
Attorney's Trouble, I will agree, that if he can 
prove the Facts charged upon us to be falfe, 1*11 
own them to be fcandahus, feditious, and a LibeL 
So the Work feems now to be pretty much 
Shortened, and Mr. Attorney has now only to 
prove the Words falfe, in order to raako us 

Mr. Attorney. We have nothing to prove ; you 
have confefTed the Printing and Publishing; but 
if it was neceSTary (as I infift it is not) how can 
we prove a Negative ? But I hope fome Regard 
will be had to the Authorities that have been 
produced ; and that fuppofing all the Words to be 
true, yet that will not help them ; that Chief 
Juftice Holt, in his Charge to the jury, in the 
Cafe of Tutchin, made no Diftinction, whether 
Tutchin's Papers were true or falje ; and as Chief 
Juftice Holt has made no Distinction in that Cafe, 
So none ought to be made here ; nor can it be 
Shewn in all that Cafe, there was any Queftion 
made about their being falfe or true. 

Mr. Hamilton. I did expect to hear, that 2 
Negative cannot be proved ; but every - body 
knows there are many Exceptions to that general 
Rule : For if a Man is charged with killing ano- 
ther, or Stealing his Neighbour's Horle ; if he is 
innocent in the one Cafe, he may prove the Man 
faid to be killed to be really alive; and the 
Horfe faid to be ftoln, never to have been out of 
his Mafter's Stable, &c. and this I think is 
proving a Negative. But we will fave Mr. At- 
torney the Trouble of proving a Negative, and 
take the Onus Probandi upon ourfelves, and prove 




Papers that are called Libels to be 

thefe very 

Mr. Ch. Jufiice. You cannot be admitted, Mr. 
Hamilton, to give the Truth of a Libel in Evidence. 
A Libel is not to be juftified ; for it is neverthekls 
a Libel that it is true. 

Mr. Hamilton. I am forry the Court has fo foon 
refolved upon that Piece of Law ; I expected firft 
to have been heard to that Point. I have not in 
all my Reading met with an Authority that fays, 
we cannot be admitted to give the Truth in Evi- 
dence, upon an Information for a Libel. 

Mr. Ch. Jujlice. The Law is clear, That you 
cannot juftify a Libel. 

Mr. Hamilton. I -own that, may it pleafe your 
Honour, to be fo ; but with Submiflion I under- 
iland the Word, jujlified there, to be a J unifica- 
tion by Plea, as it is in the Cafe upon an In- 
dictment for Murder, or an Jffault and Battery ; 
there the Prifoner cannot juftify, but plead Not 
Guilty : Yet it will not be denied but he may, and 
always is admitted to give the Truth of the Fact, 
or any other Matter in Evidence, which goes to 
his Acquittal ; as in Murder he may prove it was 
in Defence of his Life, his Houfe, cjfr. and in 
AiTault and Battery, he may give in Evidence, 
that the other Party ftnick firft, and in both Cafes 
he will be acquitted. And in this Senfe I under- 
stand the Word jujlify, when applied to" the Cafe 
before the Court. 

Mr. Ch. Jujlice. I pray fhew that you can give 
the Truth of a Libel in Evidence. 

Mr. Hamilton. I am ready, both from what I 
underftand to be the Authorities in the Cafe, and 
from the Reafon of the Thing, to fhew that we 
may lawfully do fo. But here I beg leave to ob- 
i'erve, That Informations for Libels is a Child, if 
not born, yet nurfed up, and brought to full Ma- 
turity, in the Court of the Star- Chamber. 

Mr. Ch. Jufiice. Mr. Hamilton, you'll find your- 
felf miftaken; for in Coke's Injlitutes you'll find 
Informations for Libels, long before the Court of 

Mr. Hamilton. I thank Your Honour; that is 
an Authority I did propofe to fpeak to by and by : 
But as you have mentioned it, I'll read that Au- 
thority now. I think it is in the 3 Co. In/}, under 
Title Libel; it is the Cafe of John de Northampton 
for a Letter wrote to Robert de 
%n , T1 Ferrers, one of the King's Privy - 

Coke 3. lyl. 174. Council> * conC eming Sir Will. 

Scot, Chief Juftice, and his Fel- 
lows ; but it does not appear to have been upon 
Information ; and I have good Grounds to fay it 

was upon Indictment, as was the Cafe of Adam 
de Raven fvorth, juft mentioned before by Lord 
C«ke under the fame Title ; and I think there 
cannot be a greater, at lead a plainer Authority 
for us, than the Judgment in the Cafe of John 
de Northampton, which my Lord has fet down at 
large. Et quia praditlus Johannes cognovit diclam 
Literam per fe fcriptam Roberto de Ferrers, qui ejl 
dt Concilio Regis, qua lit era confine t in fe nullam 
veritatem, tjfc Now Sir, by this Judgment it 
appears the libellous Words were utterly falfe, and 
there the Falfhood was the Crime, and is the 
Ground of that Judgment : And is not that what 
we contend for ? Do not we infift that the Falfhood 
makes the Scandal, and both make the Libel ? 
And how fhall it be known whether the Words 
are libellous, that is, true or falfe, but by admit- 
ting us to prove them true, fince Mr. Attorney will 
not undertake to prove them falfe ? Befides, is it 
not againft Common Senfe, that a Man fhould be 
punifhed in the fame Degree for a true Libel (if 
any fuch Thing could be) as for a falfe one ? I 
know it is faid, That Truth makes a Libel the 
more provoking, and therefore the Offence is the 
greater, and confequently the Judgment Jbould be the 
heavier. Well, fuppofe it were fo, and let us 
agree for once, That Truth is a greater Sin than 
Fal/bood: Yet as the Offences are not equal, and 
as the Punifhment is arbitrary, that is, according 
as the Judges in their Difcretion fhall direct to be 
inflicted ; is it not abfolutely neceffary that they 
fhould know whether the Libel is true or falfe, 
that they may by that Means be able to proportion 
the Punifhment ? For would it not be a fad Cafe, 
if the Judges, for want of a due Information 
fhould chance to give as fevere a Judgment a- 
gainft a Man for writing or publifhing a Lie, as 
for writing or publifhing a Truth ? And yet this 
(with Submifliofl) as monftrous and ridiculous 
as it may feem to be, is the natural Confequence 
of Mr. Attorney's Doctrine, That Truth makes 
a ivorfe Libel than Falfhood, and muft follow 
from his not proving our Papers to be falfe, 
or not fuffering us to prove them to be true. 
But this is only reafoning upon the Cafe, and I 
will now proceed to fhew, what in my Opinion 
will be fufficient to induce the Court to allow us 
to prove the Truth of the Words, which in the 
Information are called libellous. And firft I 
think there cannot be a greater Authority for us, 
than the Judgment I juft now mentioned in the 
Cafe of John de Northampton, and that was in' 
early Times, and before the Star-Chamber came 
to its Fulnefs of Power and Wickednefs. In that 


Tryal of JOHN PETER Z E N G ER, &c. 

Judgment, as I obferved, the Faljhood of the Let- 
ter which was wrote, is affigned as the very 
Ground of the Sentence. And 
agreeable to this it was urged 
by Sir Robert Sawyer y * in the * State Tryals, 

Vol. 4. 

Tryal of the Seven Bifhops, 
'That the Falfity, the Malice, and 
Seditions of the Writing, were all 
Fails to be proved. But here it may be faid, Sir 
Robert was one of the Bifhop's Council, and his 
Argument is not to be allowed for Law : But I 
offer it only to fhew that we are not the firft who 
have infilled, that to make a Writing a Libel, 
it mull be falfe. And if the Argument of a 
Council mult have no Weight, I hope there will 
be more a Regard fhewn to the Opinion of a Judge > 
and therefore I mention the Words of Jullice 
Powel in the fame Tryal, where he fays (of the 
Petition of the Bifhops, which was called a Li- 
bel, and upon which they were profecuted by 
Information) That to make it a Libel, it mujl be 
falfe and malicious, and tend to Sedition; and 
declared, as he faw no Faljhood or Malice in it, he 
was of Opinion, that it was no Libel. Now I 
Ihould think this Opinion alone, in the Cafe of 
the King, and in a Cafe which that King had fo 
much at Heart, and which to this Day has never 
been contradifted, might be a fufficient Autho- 
rity, to entitle us to the Liberty of proving the 
Truth of the Papers, which in the Information 
are called falfe, malicious, feditious and fcandalous. 
If it be obje&ed, that the Opinion of the other 
three Judges were againft him, I anfwer, That 
the Cenfures the Judgments of thefe Men have 
undergone, and the Approbation Juflice Powel's 
Opinion, his Judgment and Conduct upon that 
Trya), has met with, and the Honour he gained 
to himfelf, for daring to fpeak Truth at fuch a 
Time, upon fuch an Occafion, and in the Reign 
of luch a King, is more than fufficient, in my 
humble Opinion, to warrant our infilling on his 
Judgment, as a full Authority to our Purpofe, 
and it will lye upon Mr. Attorney to fhew, that 
this Opinion has fince that Time been denied to 
by Law, or that Jullice Powel, who delivered it, 
has ever been condemend or blamed for it, in any 
Law-Book extant at this Day, and this I will 
venture to fay, Mr. Attorney cannot do. But to 
make this Point yet more clear, if any Thing 
can be clearer, I will on our Part proceed and 
ftiew that in the Cafe of Sir Samuel Barnardifi 'on, 
his Council, notwithstanding he Hood before one 
cf the greateft Monilers that ever prefided in an 
Er.gUjh Court (Judge Jefferies) infilled on the 

State Tryals 
Vol. V. 44 c. 

State Tryals 
Vol. V. 445. 


Want of Proof to the Malice and feditious Intent 
of the Author, of what was called a Libel. And 
in the Cafe of Tutchin, which feems to be Mr 
Attorney's chief Authority, that Cafe is againft 
him ; for he was upon his Tryal put upon fhew- 
ing the Truth of his Papers, but did not, at 
leafl the Prifoner was afked 
by the King's Council, whe- 
ther he would fay they were 
true ? And as he never pre- 
tended, that they were true, 
the Chief Jullice was not 
to fay fo. But the Point 
will flill be clearer on our Side from Fuller's 
Cafe, Forfalfly and wickedly caufing to be printed a 
falfe and fcandalous Libel, in which (among/ other 
Things) were contained thefe Words. * Mr. Jones 
1 has alfo made Oath, That he paid 5000 1. 
« more by the late King's Order, to fever al Perfons 
' in Places of Truft, that they might compleat my 
Ruin, and invalidate me for ever. Nor is this 

* all; for the fame Mr. Jones will prove by unde- 
1 niable Witnefs and Demonji ration, that he has 
' diftributed more than 180,000 1. in Eiubt 

* Tears loft paft, by the French King's Order* to 
1 Perfons in publick Trujl in this Kingdom: Here 
you fee is a fcandalous and infamous Charge 
againft the late King ; here is a Charge, no lefs 
than High Treafon, againft the Mat in pub- 
lic^ Truft, for receiving Money of the French 
King, then in actual War with the Crown 
of Great Britain ; and yet the Court were 
far from bearing him down with thatStar-Cham- 
ber Do&rine, to wit, That it was no matter 
whether what he faid was true or falfe ; no on 
the contrary, Lord Chief Jullice Holt a Iks Fuller, 
Can you make it appear, they are true ? Have you 
any Witneffes ? You might have had SubpcenaV for 

your Witneffes againft this Day. Jf you take upon 
you to write fuch Things as you are charged with, h 
lies upon you to prove them true, at your Peril. If 
you have any Witneffes, I will hear them. How 
came you to write thofe Books which are not true ? 
If you have any Witneffes, produce them. If ycu 
can offer any Matter to prove what you have wrote, 
let us hear it. Thus faid, and thus did, that 
great Man Lord Chief Jullice Holt } upon a Tryal 
of the like Kind with ours,, and the Rule laid 
down by him in this Cafe is, That he who will 
take upon him to write Things, it lies upon him to 
prove them at his Peril. Now, Sir, we have 
acknowledged the Printing and Publishing of 
thofe Papers, fet forth in the Information, and 
(with the Leave of the Court] agreeable to the 
F Rule 



Rule laid down by Chief Juftice Holt, we are 
ready to prove them to be true, at our Peril. 

Mr. Cb. Juftice. Let me fee the Book. 

Here the Court bad the Cafe under Confideration, 
a confidcrable Time, and every one was ftlcnt. 

Mr. Cb. Juft. Mr. Attorney, you have heard 
what Mr. Hamilton has faid, and the Cafes he 
has cited, for having his Witneffes examined, to 
prove the Truth of feveral Fatts contained in 
the Papers fet forth in the Information. What do 
you fay to it ? 

Mr. Attorney, The Law in my Opinion is very 
clear ; they cannot be admitted to juftify a Libel ; 
for, by the Authorities 1 have already read to the 
Court, it is not the lefs a Libel becaufe it is true. 
I think I need not trouble the Court with reading 
the Cafes over again ; the Thing feems to be 
very plain, and I fubmit it to the Court. 

Mr. Cb. Jujl. Mr. Hamilton, the Court is of 
Opinion, you ought not to be permitted to prove 
the Fa As in the Papers : Thefe are the Words of 
the Book, * It ii far from- being a "J unification of 

* a Libel, that the Contents therefore are true, or that 

* the Perfon upon whom it is made, had a bad R epu ■ 
' tation, fince the greater Appearance there is of 

* Truth in any malicious Inveilive, fo much the 
' more provoking it is. 1 

Mr. Hamilton, Thefe are Star-Chamber Cafes, 
and I was in hopes, that Practice had been dead 
with the Couit. 

Mr. Cb. Jujl. Mr. Hamilton, the Court have' 
delivered their Opinion, and we expeft you will 
ufe us with good Manners ; you are not to be 
permitted to argue againit the Opinion of the 

Mr. Hamilton, With Submiffion, I have feen 
the Practice in very great Courts, and never heard 
it deemed unmannerly to 

Mr. Cb. Jujl. After the Court have declared 
their Opinion, it is not good Manners to infill 
upon a Point, in which you are over-ruled. 

Mr. Hamilton, I will fay no more at this 
Time • the Court I fee is againft us in this Point j 
and that I hope I may be allowed to fay. 

Mr. Cb. J lift- Ufe the Court with good Man- 
ners, and you fhall be allowed all the Liberty 
you can reafouably defire. 

Mr. Hamilton, I thank Your Honour. Then 
Gentlemen of the Jury, it is to you we muft now 
appeal, for Witneffes, to the Truth of the Facts 
we have offered, and are denied the Liberty to 
prove ; and let it not feem ltrange, that I apply 
my felf to you in this Manner, I am warranted 

T IV E of the 

fo to do both by Law and Reafon. The Law, 
fuppofes you to be fummoned, out of the Neigh- 
bourhood where the Fail is all edged to be committed; 
and the Reafon of your being taken out of the 
Neighbourhood is, bocaufe you are fuppofed to have 
the be ft Knowledge of the Fail that is to be tried % 
And were you to find a Verditt againft my Client, 
you muft take upon you to fay, the Papers re- 
ferred to in the Information, and which We ac- 
knowledge we printed and publifhed, are falfe,. 
fcandalous and feditious ; but of this I can have no 
Apprehenfion. You are Citizens of New-York ; 
you are really, what the Law fuppofes you to be, 
honeft and lawful Men ; and, according to my 
Brief, the Fadts which we offer to prove were not 
committed in a Corner; they are notorioufly 
known to be true ; and therefore in your Juftice 
lies our Safety. And as we are denied the Li- 
berty of giving Evidence, to prove the Truth of 
what we have publifhed, I will beg Leave to lay 
it down as aftanding Rule in fuch Cafes, That the 
fupprejjing of Evidence ought always to be taken for 
the ftrongeft Evidence ; and I hope it will have that 
Weight with you. But fince we are not admitted 
to examine our Witneffes, I will endeavour to 
fhorten the Difpute with Mr. Attorney, and to* 
that End, I defire he would favour us with fome 
Standard Definition of a Libel, by which it may 
be certainly known, whether a Writing be a Li- 
bel, yea or not. 

Mr. Attorney, The Books, I think, have given 
.a very full Definition of a Li- 
bel ; they fay it is in a ftricl \ Hawk. Chap. 
Senje taken for a malicious De- 73. §. 1. &feq. 
famation, expreffed either in 
Printing, and tending either to blacken the Memory 
of one who is dead, or the Reputation of one whs 
is alive, and to expofe him to publick Hatred, Con- 
tempt or Ridicule. § . ? But it is faid, That in a 
larger Senfe the Notion of a Libel may be applied to 
any Defamation whatjoever, expreffed either by 
Signs or Piclures, as by fixing up a Gallows againft a 
Mans Door, or by painting him in a Jhameful and 
ignominious Manner. §. 3. And fin :e the chief 
Caufe for which the Law fo feverely punifbes all 
Offences of this Nature, is the dired Tendency of 
them to a Breach of Publick Peace, by provoking the 
Parties injured, their Friends and Families to Ails 
of Revenge, which it would be impoffible to refrain 
by the fever eft Laws, were there tw Rcdrejs from 
Publick Juftice for Injuries of this kind, which of 
all others are moft fenfibly felt ; and fince the plain 
Meaning of fuch Scandal, as is expreffed by Signs or 
Pifluret, is as obvious to common Senfe, and as eafilv 


Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 

uvderflood by euery common Capacity, and altogether 
as provoking as that which is expreffed by Writ in* 
Printing, why Jhould it not be equally criminal? 

J 9 

or L rutting 

§ 4. And from the fame Ground it Jeemcthalfo clearly 
to follow, That fuc/j Scandal, as is exprrjfed in a 
fcoffing and ironical Manner, makes a Writing as 
properly a Libel, as that which is expreffed in dired 
Terms ; as where a Writing, in a taunting Manner 
reckoning up federal Ails of publick Charity done by 
one, Jays, You will not play the Jew, nor the 
Hypocrite, and fo goes on in a Strain of Ridicule to 
injinuate, that what he did was owing to his Vain- 
Glory ; or where a Writing, pretending to recommend 
to one the Characters of federal great Men for his 
Imitation, inflead of taking Notice of what they are 
generally efteemed famous for, pitched on fuch Qualities 
only which their Enemies charge them 'with the Want 
°f, as h pfopofeng fuch a one to be imitated for his 
Courage, who is knenvn to be a great Statefman, but 
no Soldier, and another to be imitated for his 
Learning, who is known to be a great General, but 
no Scholar &C. which Kind of Writing is as well 
underftood to mean only to upbraid the Parties wiih 
the Want of thefe Qualities, as if it had dire ft ly 
and exprefely donefo. 

Mr. Hamilton, Ay, Mr. Attorney ; but what 
certain Standard Rule have the Books laid down, 
by which we can certainly know, whether the 

are agreed that the Words arefalf and Jcandxhu, 
and were fpoken in an ironical and fcoffing Manner 
CSV.) that they are really libellous; but here Hill 
occurs the Uncertainty, which makes the Dj/- 
hculty to know, what Words are fcanMdus and 
what not; for you fay, they may be fcandalous 
true or fulfa fefidfc how mall we know whe- 
ther the Words were (poke in a fcoffing and ironical 
Manner, or ferioufiy ? Or how can you know 
whether the Man did not think as he wrote ' 
For by your Rule, if he did, it is no Irony, and 
confequently no Libel. But under Favour, Mr 
Attorney, I think the fame Book, and the' fame 
Sedion, will fhew us the only Rule by which all 
thefe Things are to be known. The Words arc 
thefe ; Which Kind of Writing is as well UNf) ER ■ 
STOOD to ?nean only to upbraid the Parties with 
the Want of thefe Qualities, as if they had direcllv 
and exprefely donefo. Here it is plain, the Word'.-' 
are fcandalous, fcoffing and ironical, only as they 
are UNDERSTOOD, 1 know no Rule laid down 
in the Books but this, I mean, as the Words arc 

Mr. Ch. Juft. Mr. Hamilton, Do you think it 
fohard to know, when Words are ironical, or 
fpoke in a fcoffing Manner ? 

Mr. Hamilton, I own it may be known ; but I 
infill, the only Rule to know is, as I do or — 

Words or the Signs are malicious ? Whether they underft and them. ; I have no other Rule to go by 
are defamatory ? Whether they tend to the Breach but as 1 underfand them. 

Juft. That 

of the Peace, and are a fufficient Ground to pro 
voke a Man, his Family, or Friends, to Acts of 
Revenge, efpecially thofe of the ironical fort of 
Words ? And what Rule have you to know when 
I write ironically ? I think it would be hard, 
when I fay, Such a Man is a <very worthy boneji 
Gentleman, and cf fine Underft anding, that there- 
fore I meant he was a Knave or a Fool. 

Mr. Attorney, I think the Books are very full ; 
it is faid in 1 Hawk. p. 193, juft now read, That 
fuch Scandal as is expreffed in a fcoffing and ironical 
Manner, makes a Writing as properly a Libel, as 
that which is expreffed in dire£l Terms ; as where 
a Writing, in a taunting Manner fays, reckoning 
up fe<veralAcls of Charity done by one,fzys,Yoa will 
not play the Jew or the Hypocrite, and fo goes 
on to injinuate, that what he did was owing to his 
Fain Glory, &c. Which Kind of Writing is as well 
under flood to mean only to upbraid the Parties with 
the Wa::t. of thefe Qualities, as if it had direllly and 
exprtjsly done fo. I think nothing can be plainer 
or more full than thefe Words. 

Mr. Hamilton, I agree the Words are very 
plain, ,.nd I mall not fcruple to allow (when we 

Mr. Ch. 

is certain. All Word* 
are libellous or not, as they are underftood. Thole 
who are to judge of the Words, mult judge whe- 
ther they are fcandalous or ironical, tend to the 
Breach of the Peace, or are feditious : There can 
be no Doubt of it. 

Mr. Hamilton, I thank your Honour ; I am 
glad to find the Court of this Opinion. Then it 
follows that thofe twelve Men muft underfland the 
Words in the Information to befcnndalous that is 
to hy,falfe; for I think it is not pretended they 
are of the ironical Sort; and when they underuan'd 
the Words to be fo, they will fay we are guilty 
of Publifhing afalfe Libel, and not otherwise. 

Mr. Ch. fuft. No," Mr. Hamilton; the Jury 
may find that Zenger printed and publilhed thofe 
Papers, and leave it to the Court to judge whether 
they are libellous ; you know this is very com- 
mon ; it is in the Nature of a fpecial Verdict, 
where the Jury leave the Matter of I,aw to the 

Mr. Hamilton, I know, may it pleafe Your 
Honour, the Jury may do fo; but I do likewife 
know they may do otherwife. I know they 




have the Right beyond all Difpute, to determine 
both the Law and the Faft, and where they do 
not doubt of the Law, they ought to do fo. 
This of leaving it to the Judgment of the Court, 
whether the Words are libellous or not, in Effect 
renders Juries ufelefs (to fay no worfe) in many 
Cafes ; but this I fhall have Occafion tofpeak to 
by and by; and I will with the Court's Leave pro- 
ceed to examine the Inconveniencies that muft 
inevitably arife from the Doclrines Mr. Attorney 
has laid down ; and I obferve in fupport of this 
Profecution, he has frequently repeated the 
Words taken from the Cafe of Libel, famofus, in 
5 Co. This is indeed the leading Cafe, and to 
which almoft all the other Cafes upon the Subjedt 
of Libels do refer ; and I muft infill upon faying, 
That according as this Cafe feems to be under- 
itood by the Court and Mr. Attorney, it is not 
Law at this Day : For tho' I own it to be bafe and 
unworthy to fcandalize any Man, yea, I think it 
is even aiilanous to fcandalize a Perfon of publick 
Character, and I will go fo far into Mr. Attorney's 
Dottiine as to agree, that if the Faults, Miftakes, 
i»ay even the Vices, of fuch a Perfon be private 
and perfonal, and don't affect the Peace of the 
Publick, or the Liberty or Property of our 
Neighbour, it is unmanly and unmannerly to ex- 
pofo them either by Word or Writing, But 
when a Ruler of the People brings his perfonal 
Failings, but much more his Vices, into his 
Administration, and the People find themfelves 
affected by them, either in their Liberties or Pro- 
perties, that will alter the Cafe mightily, and all 
the high Things that are faid in Favour of Rulers, 
and of Dignities, and upon the fide of Power, 
will not be able to flop People's Mouths when 
they feel themfelves opprefled, I mean in a free 
Government. It is true in Times paftit was a 
Crime to fpeak Truth, and in that terrible Court 
of Star-Chamber, many worthy and brave Men 
fuffered for fo doing ; and yet even in that Court, 
and in thofe bad Times, a great and good Man 
durft fay, what I hope will not be taken amifs of 
me to fay in this Place, to iwV, the Praclice of 
Informations for Libels is a Sword in t he Hands of 
a wicked King^ and an arrand Coward to cut down 
end defiroy the Innocent ; the one cannot, becaufe of his 
hiah S ration, and the other dares not, becaufe of his 
Want of Courage revenge himfelf in another Manner. 
Mr. Attoiney, Pray Mr. Hamilton, have a Care 
what you fay, don't go too far neither, I don't 
like thofe Liberties. 

Mr. Hamilton, Sure, Mr. Attorney, you won't 
make any Applications ; all Men agree that we 

of the 

are governed by the beft of Kings, and f cannot 
fee the Meaning of Mr. Attorney's Caution; my 
well known Principles, and the Senfe I have of 
the Bleflings we enjoy under his prefent Majefty, 
makes it impoflible for me to err, and I hope, 
even to be fufpe&ed, in that Point of Duty to my 
King. May it pleafe Your Honour, I was faying, 
That notwithftanding all the Duty and Reverence 
claimed by Mr. Attorney to Men in Authority, 
they are not exempt from obfervingthe Rules of 
common Juftice, either in their private or publick 
Capacities ; the Laws of our Mother Country 
know no Exception. It is true, Men in Power 
are harder to be come at for Wrongs they do, 
either to a private Perfon, or to the Publick : 
efpecially a Governor in the Plantations, where 
they infill upon an Exemption from anfwering 
Complaints of any Kind in their own Govern- 
ment. We are indeed told, and it is true, they 
are obliged to anfwer a Suit in the King's Courts 
at Wefiminjler, for a Wrong done to any Perfon 
here : But do we not know how impracticable this 
is to molt Men among us, to leave their Families 
(who depend upon their Labour and Care for their 
Livelihood, and carry Evidences to Britain, and 
at a great, nay, a far greater Expence than almoft: 
any of us are able to bear, only to profecute a 
Governour for an Injury done here. But when 
the Oppreflion is general, there is no Remedy 
even that Way : no, our Constitution has (bleffed 
be God) given us an Opportunity, if not to have 
fuch Wrongs redreffed, yet by our Prudence and 
Refolution we may in a great Meafure prevent the 
committing of fuch Wrongs, by making a Go- 
vernour fenfible that it is his Intereft to be juft to 
thofe under his Care ; for fuch is the Senfe that 
Men in General (I mean Freemen) have of com- 
mon Juftice, that when they come to know, that 
a chief Magiftrate abufes the Power with which 
he isintrufted, for the Good of the People, and is 
attempting to turn that very Power againft the 
Innocent, whether of high or low Degree, I fay. 
Mankind in general feldom fail to interpofe, and 
as far as they can, prevent the Deftruftion of their 
Fellow Subjects. And has it not often been feen 
(and I hope it will always be feen) that when the 
Reprefentatives of a free People are by juft Repre- 
fentations or Remonftrances made fenfible of the 
Sufferings of their Fellow-Subjects, by the Abufe 
of Power in the Hands of a Governour, they 
have declared (and loudly too) that they were not 
obliged by any Law to fupport a Governour who 
goes about to deftroy a Province or Colony, or 
their Privi ledges, which by His majefty he was 


Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, kc. 

appointed, and by the Law he is bound to protect 
and encourage. But I pray it may be confidered 
of what Ufe is this mighty Priviledge, if every 
Man that fuffers muft be filent ? And if a Man 
muft be taken up as Libeller, for telling h's 
Sufferings to his Neighbour ? I know it may be 
anfwer'd, Have you not a LegiJIature ? Have you 
not a Hottfe of Reprefentatives y to whom you may com- 
plain ? And to this I anfwer, We have. But what 
then? Is an Affemby to be troubled with every 
Injury done by a Governour ? Or are they to 
hear of nothing but what thofe in the Adminiftra- 
tion will pleafe to tell them ? Or what Sort of a 
Tryal muft a Man have ? And how is he to b; 
remedied ; efpeeially if the Cafe were, as I have 
known it to happen in America in my Time ; 
That a Governour who has Places (I will not fay 
Penfions, for I believe they feldom give that to 
another which they can take to themfelves) to 
beftow, and can or will keep the fame AfTembly 
(after he has model'd them fo as to get a Ma- 
jority of the Houfe in his Intereft) for near twice 
Seven Tears together ? I pray, what Redrefs is to 
be expected for an honeit Man, who makes his 
Complaint againft a Governour to an AfTembly, 
who may properly enough be faid, to be made 
by the fame Governour againft whom the Com- 
plaint is made ? The Thing anfwers it felf. No, 
it is natural, it is a Priviledge, I will go farther, 
it is a Right which all Freemen claim, and are 
entitled to complain when they are hurt ; they 
have a Right publickly to remonftrate the Abufes 
of Power, in the ftrongeft Terms, to put their 
Neighbours upon their Guard, againft the Craft 
or open Violence of Men in Authority, and to 
affert with Courage the Senfe they have of the 
Bleffings of Liberty, the Value they put upon it, 
and their Refolution at all Hazards to preferve it, 
as one of the greateft Bleffings Heaven can beftow. 
And when a Houfe of AfTembly, compofed of 
honeft Freemen, fees the general Bent of the Peo- 
ples Inclinations, That is it which muft and will 
(I'm fure it ought to) weigh with a Legiflature, in 
Spite of all the Craft, Carreffing and Cajoling, 
made ufe of by a Governour, to divert them 
from hearkening to the Voice of their Country. 
As we all very well underftand the true Reafon, 
why Gentlemen take fo much Pains and make 
fuch great Intereft to be appointed Governours, 
fo is the Defign of their Appointment not lefs 
manifeft. We know his Majefty's gracious .In- 
tentions to his Subjects ; he defires no more than 
that his People in the Plantations fhould be kept 
uj) to their Duty and Allegiance to the Crown of 


Great Britain, that Peace may be preferred a~ 
mongfl them, andjuftice impartially cdminifired 
that we may be governed fo as to reader us uf< fas 
to cur Mother Country ,by encouraging us to make 
and raife fuch Commodities a.: may be ufefu] 10 
Great Britain. But will any one fay, that all Qi 
any of thefe good Ends are to bo effected, Ly a 
Governour's letting his People together by the 
Ears, and by the Affiflance of one Part of the 
People to plague and plunder the other . ; The 
Commiffion which Governours bear, while t] 
execute the Powers given them, according to tl e 
Intent of the Royal Grantor, expreffed in I 
Commiffion?, requires and deferves very t 
Reverence and Submiffion ; but when a Go 
nour departs from the Duty enjoyned him by his 
Sovereign, and ads as if he was lefs acfioimtabje 
than the Royal Hand that gave him ail that 
Power and Honour winch he is poffefled of; th 
fets People upon examining and enquiring into 
the Power, Authority, and Duty of fuch a Ma- 
gistrate, and to compare thofe with his Conduct, 
and jultasfar as they find he exceeds the Bound * 
of his Authority, or falls fhort in doing impartial 
Juftice to the People under his Administration, fo 
far they very often, in return, come fhort in their 
Duty to fuch a Governour. For Power alone 
will not make a Man beloved, and I have heard 
it obferved, That the Man who was neither good 
nor wife before his being made a Governour, never 
mended upon his Preferment, but has been gene- 
rally obferved to be worfe : For Men who are not 
endued with Wifdom and Virtue, can only be 
kept in Bounds by the Law ; and by how much 
the further they think themfelves out of the Reach 
of the Law, by fo much the more wicked and 
cruel they are. I wifh there were no Inflances 
of the Kind at this Day. And wherever this 
happens to be the Cafe of a Governour, unhappy 
are the People under his Adminiftration, and in 
the End he will find himfelf fo too ; for the 
People will neither love him nor fupport him. 
I make no Doubt but there are thofe here, who 
are zealoufly concerned for the Succefs of this 
Profecution, and yet I hope they are not many, 
and even fome of thofe, I am perfwaded (when 
they confider what Lengths fuch Profecutions 
may be carried, and how deeply the Liberties of 
the People may be affected by fuch Means) will 
not all abide by their prefent Sentiments ; I 
fay, Not All : For the Man who from an Intimacy 
and Acquaintance with a Governour has con- 
ceived a perfonal Regard for him, the Man who 
has felt none of the S;rok«s of his Power, the 
G Man 


Man who believes that a Governour has a Regard 
for him and confides in him, it is natural for fuch 
Men towifh well to the Affairs of fuch a Gover- 
nour ; and as they may be Men of Honour and 
Generofity, may, and no Doubt will, wifh him 
Succefs, fo far as the Rights and Priviledges of 
their Fellow Citizens are not aftefted. But as 
Men of Honour, I can apprehend nothing from 
them ; they will never exceed that Point. There 
are others that are under llronger Obligations, and 
thofe are fuch, as are in fome Sort engaged in 
Support of a Governour's Caufe, by their own or 
their Relations Dependance on his Favour, for 
ibme Poll or Preferment : fuch Men have what 
is commonly called Duty and Gratitude, to in- 
fluence their Inclinations, and oblige them to go 
his Lengths. I know Men's Jnterefts are very 
near to them, and they will do much, rather than 
forgoe the Favour of a Governour, and a Liveli- 
hood at the lame Time; but lean with veiy 
jaft Grounds hope, even from thofe Men, whom 
I will fuppofe to be Mtn of Honour and 
Confcience too, that when they fee, the Liberty 
of their Country is in Danger, either by their 
Concurrence, or even by their Silence, they will, 
like Enghjhmen^ and like themfelves, freely 
make a Sacrifice of any Preferment or Favour 
rather than be accefTary to deftroying the Liber- 
ties of their Country, and entailing Slavery upon 
their Polterity. There are indeed another fet of 
Men, of whom I have no Hopes, I mean fuch, 
who lay afide all other Confiderations, and are 
readv to joyn with Power in any Shape, and 
with Many an or Sort of Men, by whofe Means 
or Interefl they may be affiited to gratify their 
Malice and Knvy, againft thofe whom they have 
been pleafed to hnte ; and that for no other Rea- 
fon, but becaufe they are Men of Abilities and 
-riu\ or at Icalt are poffefled of fome valuable 
Qualities far fuperiour to their own. But as Envy 
he Sin of the Devil, and therefore very hard, 
t all, to be repented of, I will believe there are 
, ;: \v of this deteltable and worthlefs Sort of 
,-,', nor will their Opinions or Inclinations have 
, v Influence upon this Tryal. But to proceed : 
I be« Leave to infill, That the Right of com- 
plaining or remonffrating is natural; and the 
Reilraint upon this natural Right is the Law 
only and that thofe Rellraints can only ex- 
tend to what is falje ; For as it is Truth 
alone which can excufe or juftify any Man for 
complaining of a bad Adminiflration, I as frank- 
ly ag'ee, that nothing ougnt to excufe a Man 

T IV E of the 

who raifes a falfe Charge or Accufation, even 
againil a private Perfon, and that no manner 
of Allowance ought to be made to him, who 
does fo aganill a publick Magiilrate. Truth ought 
to govern the whole Affair of Libels*, and yet the 
Party accufed runs Rifque enough even then ; 
for if he fails of proving every Titt'e of what 
he has wrote, and to the Satisfa&ion of the Court 
and Jury too, he may find to his Coll, that when 
the Profecution is fet on Foot by Men in Power, 
it feldom wants Friends to favour it. And from 
thence (it is faid) has arifen the great Diverfity of 
Opinions among Judges, about what Words were 
or were not fcandalous or libellous. I believe it 
will be granted, that there is not greater Uncer- 
tainty in any Part of the Law, than about Words 
of Scandal ; it would be mifpending of the Court's 
Time to mention the Cafes ; they may be faid to 
be numberlel's; and therefore the utmofl Care 
ought to be taken in following Precedents ; and 
the Times when the Judgments were given, 
which are quoted for Authorities in the Cafe of 
Libels, are much to be regarded. I think it will 
be agreed, That ever fince the Time of the Star- 
Chamber, where the moll arbitrary and deflruclive 
Judgments and Opinions were given, that ever 
an Englijhman heard of,at leafl in his own Country : 
I fay, Profecutions for Libels fince the Time of 
that arbitrary Court, and until the glorious Revo- 
lution, have generally been fet on Foot at the 
Inftance of the Crown or its Minillers ; and it is 
no fmall Reproach to the Law, that thefe Profe- 
cutions v. ere too often and too much countenane'd 
by the Judges, who held their Places at Pleafure, 
( adifagreeable Tenure to any Officer, but a dan- 
gerous one in the Cafe of a Judge.) To fay more 
to this Point may not be proper. And yet I 
cannot think it unwarrantable, to fhew the un- 
happy Influence that a Sovereign has fometimes 
had, not only upon Judges, but even upon Par- 
liaments themfelves. 

It has already been fhewn, how the Judges 
differed in their Opinions about the Nature of a 
Libel, in the Cafe of the feven Bifhops. There 
you fee three Judges of one Opinion, that is, of a 
wrong Opinion, in the Judgment of the befl Men 
in England, and one Judge of a right Opinion. 
How unhappy might it have been for all of us at 
this Day, if that Jury had undeiilood the Words 
in that Information as the Court did ? Or if tiiey 
had left it to the Court, to judge whether the 
Petition of the Bifhops was or was not a Libei ? 
No! they took upon them, to their immortal 



Honour, to determine both Law and Fac7 t and 
to underftand the Petition of the Bifhops to 
be no Libel, that is, to contain no Faljbood nor 
Sedition, and therefore found them Not Guilty. 
And remarkable is the Cafe of Sir Samuel Bar- 
nardifion, who was fined 10,000 L. for Writing a 
Letter, in which, it may be faid, none faw any 
Scandal or Falfhood but the Court and Jury ; for 
that Judgment was afterwards looked upon as a 
cruel and deteffable Judgment, and therefore wag 
reverfed by Parliament. Many more Inftances 
might be given of the Complaifance of Court- 
Judges, about thofe Times and before ; but I will 
mention only one Cafe mere, and that is the Cafe 
of Sir Edward Hales, who tho' a Roman Catho- 
lick, was by King James II. preferred to be a 
Colonel of his Army, notwithstanding the Statute 
of 25 Cha. 2d. Chap. 2. by which it is provided, 
That every one that accepts of an Office^ Civil or 
' Military, ~&c. /hall take the Oaths, fubferibe the 
Declaration, and take the Sacrament, within three 
Months, cjf c. otherwije he is dijabled to hold Juch 
Office, and the Grant for the fame to be null and 
i>oid y and the Party to forfeit 500 /. Sir Edward 
Hales did not take the Oaths or Sacrament, and 
was profecuted for the 500/. for exercifing 
the Office of a Colonel by the Space of three 
■ Months, without conforming as in the Aft is di- 
rcfted. Sir Edward pleads, That the King by 
His Letters Patents did difpenfe with his taking the 
Oaths and Sacrament, and fubferibing the Decla- 
ration, and had pardoned the Forfeiture of 500 /. 
And whether the King's Difpenfation was good, 
againji the faid Ail of Parliament ? was the 
Qiteflion. I fhall mention no more of this Cafe, 
than to (hew how in the Reign of an arbitrary 
Prince, where Judges hold their Seats at Pleafure, 
their Determinations have not always been fuch 
t as to make Precedents of, but the contrary ; 
and fo it happened in this Cafe where it was 
folemnly judged, That, notwithfianding this Acl of 
Parliament, made in the jirongejl Terms, for Pre- 
fervation of the Protefiant Religion, That yet the 
King had, by his Royal Prerogative, a Power to 
difpenfe with that Law ; and Sir Edward Hales 
was acquitted by the Judges accordingly. So the 
King's Difpenfing Power, being by the Judges fet 
up above the Aft of Parliament, this Law, which 
the People looked upon as their chief Security 
a^ahift Popery and Arbitrary Power, was by this 
judgment rendred altogether ineffectual. But 
this Judgment is fufficient- 
Sir Edw. Atlir.s's ly expofed by Sir Edward 


r.nquny into the 
Power of Difpenling 

with pcenal Statutes. 

* Poflfcript to the 
Enquiry, pag. 51. 

from Time to Tii 

Atkins, late one of the 
Judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas in his En- 
quiry into the King's Power 

of difpenfing with pas nal Statute 's ; where witibfhen 
Who it was that fir fi invented Difpen/ations ; how 
they came into England • what ill life has been 
made of them there ; and all this principally o-zvin* 
to the Countenance given them by the fudges. He 
fays of the Difpenfing 
Power, * The Pope was the 
Inventor of it ; our Kings 
have borro-wed it from 
them ; and the Judges ha- 

?iurfed and dreffedit up, and given it Countenance ; 
and it is fill upon the Growth, and encroaching, 'till 
it has almofi fubverted all Law f and made the Re- 
gal Power abfolute if not dijfolute. This feems not 
only to fliew how far Judges have been influenced 
by Power, and how little Cafes of this Sort 
where the Prerogative has been in Queffion in for- 
mer Reigns, are to be reiied upon for Law: 
But I think it plainly fhews too, that a Man 
may ufe a greater Freedom with the Power of 
his Sovereign and the Judges in Great Britain, 
than it feems he may with the Power of a Go- 
vernour in the Plantations, who is but a Fellow- 
Subjeft. Are the Words with which we are 
charged, like thefe ? Do Mr. Zenger's Papers 
contain any fuch Freedoms with his Governour 
or his Council, as Sir Edward Atkins has taken, 
with the Regal Power and the Judges in England? 
And yet I never heard of any Information brought 
againlt him for thefe Freedoms. 

If then upon the whole there is fo great an 
Uncertainty among Judges (learned and great 
Men) in Matters of this Kind ; If Power has 
had fo great an Influence on Judges, how cautious 
ought we to be in determining by their Judg- 
ments, efpecially in the Plantations, and in the 
Cafe of Libels? There is Herefy in Law, as 
well as in Religion, and both have changed very 
much ; and we well know that it is not two Cen- 
turies ago that a Man would have been burnt is 
an Heretick, for owning fuch Opinions in Matters 
of Religion as are pubhckly wrote and printed at 
this Day. They were fallible Men. it feeim, 
and we take the Liberty not only to differ from 
them in religious Opinions, but to condemn 
them and their Opinions too ; and ( muff pre- 
furae, that in taking thefe Freedoms in thinking 
and fpeaking about Matters of Faith or Religion, 
we are in the right; For, tho* a is (aid there are 



very great Liberties of this Kind taken in Ncvo- 
Totk, yet I have heard of no Information pre- 
fered by Mr. Attorney for any Offences of this 
Sort. From which I think it is pretty clear. 
That in New-Tork a Man may make very free 
with his God, but he muff take fpecial Care 
what he fays of his Governour. . It is agreed 
upon by all Men that this is a Reign of Liberty, 
and while Men keep within the Bounds of Truth, 
I hope they may with Safety both fpeak. and 
write their Sentiments of the Conduit of Men in 
Power, I mean of that Pari of their Conduct 
only, which affeas the Liberty or Property of 
the People under their Administration ; were this 
to be denied, then the next Step may make them 
Slaves. For what Notions can be entertained of 
Slavery, beyond that of fuftering the greateft 
Injuries and Oppreffions, without the Liberty of 
complaining; or if they do, to be deitroyed, 
Body and Eitate, for fo doing. 

It is faid, and infilled upon by Mr. Attorney, 
That Government is a /acred Thing ', That it is to 
he fupported and reverenced ; It is Government that 
frotefis our Perfons and EJlates ; That prevents 
Triafons, Murders, Robberies, Riots, and all the 
Train of Evils that overturns Kingdoms and States, 
and ruins particular Perfons j and of thofe in the 
Adminiftration, efpecially the Supream ftlagijlrate, 
tnujl have all their ConducJ cenfured by private 
Men, Government cannot fubftji. This is called 
a Licentioufnejs not to be tollerated. It is faid, That 
it brings the Rulers of the People into Contempt, 
and their Authority not be regarded, and fo in the 
End the Laivs cannot be put in Execution. Thefe 
I fay, and fuch as thefe, are the general Topicks 
infilled upon by Men in Power, and their Advo- 
cates. But I wifh it might be confidered at the 
fame Time, how often it has happened, that the 
Abufe of Power has been the primary Caufe of 
thefe Evils, and that it was the Injuftice and Op- 
preflion of thefe great Men, which has com- 
monly brought them into Contempt with the 
People. The Craft and Art of fuch Men is great, 
and who, that is the leaft acquainted with Hiftory 
or Law, can be ignorant of the fpecious Pre- 
tences, which have often been made ufe of by 
Men in Power, to introduce arbitrary Rule, and 
deilroy the Liberties of a free People. I, will 
give two Inftances ; and as they are. Authorities 
not to be denied, nor can be mifunderlfeoo^ I 
prefume they will be fufficient. 

^TYitfirft is the Statute of 3</. of Hen. 7. Cap. 
u The Preamble of the Statute will prove all, 


and more .than I have a!ledged. It begins, 
' The King'O/ir Sovereign Lord remember^ low by 

* unlawful Maintenances, giving of Lhvertes, Sign; 
1 and Tokens, &c. untrue Demeanings of Sheriff, 

* in making of Pannels, and other untrue Returns, 

* by taking of Money % by //'juries, by great Riots 
' and unlawful A/femblies ; the Policy and good 
' Rule of this Realm is almoji Jubdued; and for 
' the not punijhing thefe Inconveniences^ and by Occa- 
' Jion of the P>emiffes y little or nothing may be 
1 found by biquiry, &c- to the Increafe of 'Murders \ 

* &c. and Unfureties of all Men living, and Lsjfcs 
' of their Lands and Goods.' Here is a fine and 
fpecious Pretence for introducing the Remedy, as 
it is called, which is provided by this Act ; that 
is, inftead of being lawfully accufed by 24 good 
and lawful Men of the Neighbourhood, and after- 
wards tried by 1 2 like lawful Men, here is a 
Power given to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Trea- 
furer, the Keeper of the King's privy Seal, or 
two of them, calling to them a Bifhop, a tem- 
poral Lord, and other great Men mentioned in 
the Ad, (who, it is to be obferved, were all to 
be Dependants on the Court) to receive Infor- 
mation againil any Perfon for any of the Mifbe- 
haviours recited in that Act, and by their Dif- 
cretion to examine, and to punifh them according 
to their Demerit. 

The fecond Statute I propofed to mention, is 
the nth of the fame. King, Chap. id. the 
Preamble of which' Act has the like fair Pre- 
tences as the former ; for the King calling to his 
Remembrance the good Laivs made againjl the re- 
ceiving of LiverUs, &c. unlavjfuf Extortions, 
Maintenances^ Embracery, &c. unlawful Games, 
&c. and many other great EnormitUs, and Offences 
committed againjl many good Statutes, to the Dif- 
pleafure of Almighty God, which, the Act fays, 
could not, nor yet can, be conveniently funijhed by the 
due Order of the Law, except it were frjl found by 
1 2 Men, &c. which, jor the Caufes aforefaid, 
will not find nor yet prefent the Truth. And there- 
fore the (ame Statute directs, that the Jujlices of 
JJ/i»e > and Jujlices of the Peace, Jhall upon Infor- 
mation for the King before them made, have full 
Power, by their Difcretion, to hear and determine 
all fuch Offences. Here are two Statutes that are 
allowed to have given the deepeft Wound to the 
Liberties of the People of England of any that I 
remember to have been made, unlefs it may be 
faid, That the Statute made in the Time of Henry 
8th, by which his Proclamations were to have 
the Effect of Laws, might in its Conference be 


Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 

worfe. And yet we fee the plaufible Pretences 
found out by the great Men to procure thefe Acts. 
And it may juftly be faid, that by thofe Pre- 
tences the People of England were cheated or 
aw'd into the Delivering up their antient and 
facred Right of Tryals by Grand and Petit 
Juries. I hope to be excufed for this Ex- 
prefTion, feeing my Lord Coke calls 

4. Injl. it unjuft and ft range Acl, that tended 
in its Execution to the great Difplca- 
fure of Almighty God, and the utter Subversion of 
the common Laiv. 

Thefe, I think, make out what I alledged, 
and are flagrant Inftances of the Influence of 
Men in Power, even upon the Reprefentatives of 
a whole Kingdom. From all which I hope it 
will be agreed, that it is a Duty which all gocd 
Men owe to their Country, to guard againft the 
unhappy Influence of ill Men when intrufted 
with Power, and efpecially againft their Crea- 
tures and Dependents, who, as they are generally 
more neceflitous, are furely more covetous and 
cruel. But it is worthy of Obfervation, that 
tho' the Spirit of Liberty was born down and 
opprefled in England at that time, yet it was 
not loft ; for the Parliament laid hold of the 
firft Opportunity to free the Subject from the 
many infufterable Oppreffions and Outrages com- 
mitted upon their Perfons and Eftates by Colour 
of thefe Afts, the laft of which being deemed the 
molt grievous, was repealed in the firft year of 
Hen. 8th. Tho' it is to be obferved, that Hen. 
jtb, and his Creatures, reap'd fuch great Advan- 
tages by the grievous Oppreffions and Exactions, 
grinding the Faces of the poor Subjeils, as my 
Lord Coke fays, by Colour of this Statute by 
Information only, that a Repeal of this Aft 
could never be obtained during the Life of that 
Prince. The other Statute being the favourite 
Law for Supporting arbitrary Power, was con- 
tinued much longer. The Execution of it was 
by the great Men of the Realm ; and how they 
executed it, the Senfe of the Kingdom, exprefled 
in the yth of Charles \Jl. (by which the Court 
of Star-Chamber, the Soil where Informations 
grewrankeft) will beft declare. In that Statute 
Magna Charta, and the other Statutes made in 
the Time of Ediv. ^d. which, I think, are no 
lefs than five, are particularly enumerated as A£ts t 
by which the Liberties and Privileges of the 
People of England were fecuredto them, againft 
fuch oppreffive Courts as the Star-Chamber and 
others of the like Jurifdiftion. And the Reafon 
affigned for their pulling down the Star-Chamber, 


is, That the Proceedings^ Cenfures and Decrees of the 
Court af Star-Chamber, even though the great Men 
of the Realm, nay, and a P'jhop too (holy Man) 
luere fudges, had by Experience been found to bean 
intolerable Burthen to the Suljce7 t and the Means to 
introduce an arbitrary Po-zver and Government. 
And therefore that Court was taken away, with 
all the other Courts in that Statute mentioned, 
have like Jurifdiftion. 

I don't mention this Statute, as if by the taking 
away the Court of Star-Chamber, the Re;' 
for many of the Abufes or Offences ccn Cured, 
there, was likewife taken away ; no, I only in- 
tend by it to fhew, that the People of' Erg ' 
faw clearly the Danger of trailing their Liberties 
and Properties to be tried, even by the gre&fefl 
Men in the Kingdom, without the Judgment ot 
a Jury of their Equals. They had Felt the terri- 
ble Effects of leaving it to the Judgment of the Re 
great Men to fiy what was fcandahf.: ' andjeditiom, 
falfe or ironical. And if the Parliament of £^ 
land thought this Power of judging was too great 
to be trufted with Men of the firft Rank in 
Kingdom, without the Aid of a Jury, how facre'd 
foever their Characters might be, and therefore 
reftored to the People their original Right o 
Tryal by Juries, I hope to be excufed for infilling, 
that by the Judgment of a Parliament, from 
whence no Appeal lies, the Jury are the proper 
Judges, or what is falfe at leaft, if not of what 
is fcandalous and feditious. This is an Authority 
not to be denied, it is as plain as it is great, and 
to fay, that this Aft indeed did reftore to the 
People Tryals by Juries, which was not the 
Practice of the Star-Chamber, but that did not 
give the Jurors any new Authority, or any Right 
to try Matters of Law, I fay this Objection will 
not avail ; for I muft infift, that where Matter of 
Law is complicated with Matter of Fact, the 
Jury have a Right to determine both. As for 
Inftance ; upon Indiftment for Murder, the Jury 
may, and almoft conftantly do, take upon them 
to judge whether the Evidence will amount to 
Murder or Manflaughter, and find accordingly ; 
and I muft fay I cannot lee, why in our Cafe the 
Jury have not at leaft as good a Right to fav, 
Whether our News Papers pre a Libel or no Li- 
bel, as another Jury has to fay, whether killing 
of a Man is Murder or Manflaughter. The 
Right of the Jury, to find fuch a V erdict a? they 
in their Confcience do think is agreeable to their 
Evidence, is fupported by the Authority of 
Bujhefs Cafe, \hVaagbani Reports, png. 135, 
beyond any doubt. For, in the Argument 01 

H that 

Kep. p. 150. 

in Affile, Sec. 

fag. 1 44 
pag. 147 


that Cafe, the Chief Juftice who delivered the 
Opinion of the Court, lays it down for Law, 
That in all General Ififues, as 
upon Non Cul. in H refpafs, 
Non Tort. Nul Diffeizin 
tho' it is Matter of Law, whether 
the "Defendant is a Trefpaffer, a Diffeizer, Sec. in 
the particular Cafes in Iffue, yet the Jury find not 
[as in a fpecial Verdia) the Fad of every Caje, 
having the Law to the Court; but find for the 
Plaintiff or Defendant upon the IJfue to be tried 
wherein they refolve both Law and Fail compli- 
tatc.'y. It appears by the fame Cafe, that tho' 
the difcreet and lawful Affiftancc of the Judge, 
by Way of Advice, to the Jury, may be uietul, 
yet that Advice or Direction ought always 
to be upon Suppofition, and not 
pofitive, and upon Coercion. The 
Reafon given in the fame Book 
if, Becaufe the Judge {as Judge) 
cannot know what the Evidence 
,', which the Jury have, that is, be can only know 
the Evidence given in Court ; but the Evidence 
which the j'ury have, may be of their own Know 
ledge i as they are tetumed of the Neighbourhood. 
Tbfj .-nay alio know from their own Knowledge , that 
w it is Jkuorn in Court is not true; and they 
may kutrw the Witnejfes to be fiigmatized, to which 
the Court may be Strangers. But what is to my 
Purpofe, i?, that fuppofe that the Court did realiy 
know all the Evidence which the Jury know, 
yet in that Cafe it is agreed, That the Judge and 
fury may differ in the Refult of their Evidence as 
•ijefl as two Judges may, which often happens. 
And in pag. 1 48. the Judge fubjoins the Reafon, 
why it is no Crime for a Jury to differ in Opinion 
from the Court, where he fays, That a Man 
cannot fee with another's Eye, nor hear by another s 
Ear ; no more can a Man conclude or infer th?e thing 
by another's Under/landing or Reafoning. From all 
which (I infill) it is very plain, That the Jury are 
by Lavj at Liberty (without any affront to the Judg- 
ment of the Court) to find loth the Law and the 
Fad, in our Cafe, as they did in the Cafe I am 
{peaking to, which I will beg leave jult to men- 
tion 3nd it was this. Mr. Pcw/and Mead being 
Qua.ker.% and having met in a peaceable Manner, 
after being fhut out of their Meeting-Houfe, 
preached in Grace-Church-Street in London, to the 
People of their own Perfuafion, and for this they 
were indicted j and it was faid, That they with 
ether Perfons, to the Number cf 300, unlawfully 
and turruituoufly ajfemblid, to the Dijlurbante of 


the Peace, &c. To which they pleaded, Not 
Guilty. And the Petit Jury being fworn to try 
the IiTue between the King and the Prifoners, 
that is, whether they were Guilty, according to 
the Form of the Indictment ? Here there was 
no Diipute but they were affembled together, to . 
the Number mentioned in the Indictment; But, 
Whether that Meeting together was rioteufiy, tumul- 
tuoufly, and to the Dijlurbanceof the Peace f was the 
Queltion. And the Court told the Jury it was, and 
ordered the Jury to find it fo ; For (laid the Court) 
the Meeting was the Matter of Fail, and that is 
conffffed, and we tell you it is unlaiiful, for it is 
againji the Statute ', and the Meeting being unlaw- 
ful it follows of Courje that it was tumultuous, 
and to the Dijiurbance of the Peace. Bat the Jury 
did not think fit to take the Courts Word for it, 
for they could neither find Riot, Tumult, or any 
Thing tending to the Breach of the Peace com- 
mitted at that Meeting ; and they acquitted Mr. 
Penn and Mead. In doing of which they took 
upon them to judge both the Law and the Fail, 
at which the Court (being themfelves true 
Courtiers) were fo much offended, that they fined 
the Jury 40 Marks a piece, and committed them 
till paid. But Mr. Bujhel, who valued the Right 
of a Juryman and the Libeny of his Country 
more than his own, refufed to pay the Fine, and 
was refolved (tho' at a great Expence and Trouble 
too) to bring, and did bring, his Habeas Corpus, 
to be relieved from his Fine and Imprifonment, 
and he was releafed accordingly ; and this being 
the Judgment in his Cafe, it is eitablifhed for 
Law, That the Judges, how great foever they be, 
have no Right to. fine, imprifon, or puni/b a Jury 
for not finding a Vtrditf according to the Direilion of 
the Court. And this I hope is fufficient to prove, 
That Jurymen are to fee with their own Eye?, to 
hear with their own Ears, and to make ule of 
their own Confciences and Underltandings, in 
judging of the Lives, Liberties, or Eftates of their 
Fellow Subjects. And fo I have done with this 

This is the fecond Information for Libelling of 
a Governor that I have known in America. 
And the firft, tho' it may look like a Romance, 
yet as it is true, I will beg leave to mention it. 
Governor Nicholfon, who happened to be offend- 
ed with one of his L'lergy, met him one day upon 
the Road, and as was ulual with him (under the 
Protection of his Commiffion) ufedthe poorPar- 
fon with the worffof Language, threatned to cut 
off* his Ears, flit his Nofe, and at latt to fhoot 



him though the Head. The Perfon being a 
reverend Man, continued all this time uncovered 
in the Heat of the Sun, until he found an Oppor- 
tunity to fly for it ; and coming to a Neighbour's 
Houfe felt himfelf very ill of a Fever, and im- 
mediately writes for a Dodor ; and that his Phy- 
fician might the better judge of his Diftemper, 
he acquainted him with the Ufage he had re- 
ceived ; concluding, that the Governour was cer- 
tainly mad, for that no Man in his Senfes would 
have behaved in that manner. The Dodor un- 
happily fhews the Parfon's Letter ; the Gover- 
nour came to hear of it, and fo an Information 
was preferred againit the poor Man for faying he 
believed the Gove/ nour was mad; and it was laid in 
the Information to be falfe,fcandalous andwicked y 
and wrote with Intent to move Sedition among the 
People, and bring His Excellency into Contempt. But 
by an Order from the late Queen Anne, there was 
a Stop put to the Profecution, with fundry others 
fet on foot by the fame Governour,againff. Gentle- 
men of the greateft Worth and Honour in that 

And may not I be allowed, after all this, to 
fay, That by a little Countenance, almoft any 
Thing which a Man writes, may, with the Help 
of that ufeful Term of Art, called an Innuendo, be 
conltrued to be a Libel, according to Mr, Attor- 
ney's Definition of it, That whether the Words are 
/poke of a Perfon of a publick Cbaracler, or of a 
private Man, whether dead or living , good or bad, 
true or falfe, all make a Libel; for according to 
Mr. Attorney, after a Man hears a Writing read, 
or reads and repeats it, or laughs at it, they are all 
punijhable. It is true, Mr, Attorney- is fo good 
as to allow, after the Party knows it to be a Libel, 
but he is not fo kind as to take the Man's Word 
for it. 

[Here were feveral Cafes put to /hew, That 
tho' what a Man writes of a Governour 
was true, proper and necefTiry, yet ac- 
cording to the foregoing Dodrine it might 
be conltrued to be a Libel ; But Mr Ha- 
milton after the Tryal was over, being 
informed, That fome of the Cafes he had 
put had really happened in this Govern- 
ment, he declared he had never heard of 
any fuch ; and as he meant no perfonal 
Refledions, he was forry he had men- 
tioned them, and therefore they are 
omitted here.] 
Mr. Hamilton, If a Libel is underftood in the 
large and unlimited Senie urged by Mr. Attorney, 

2 7 

there is fcarce a Writing I know that may n t 
be called a Libel, or fcarce any Perfon fofe from 
being called to Account as a Libeller: For Moles, 
meek as he was, libelled Cain ; and who is it 
that has not libelled the Devil ? For according to 
Mr. Attorney, it is no )uftification to fay one has 
a bad Name. Echard has libelled our good 
King William; Burnet has libelled among many 
others King Charles and King Jama ; and Rapin 
has libelled them all. How mult a man fpe.ik 
or write, or what mult he hear, read, or fin<r ? 
Or when mull he laugh, fo as to be fecure 
from being taken up as a Libeller ? I fincereiy 
believe, that were fome Perfons to go thro' t..e 
Streets of New-York now-a-days, and read a Part 
of the Bible, if it was not known to be fuch, 
Mr. Attorney, with the Help of his Innuendo's, 
would eafily turn it into a Libel. As for In- 
ftance, If. x\. 16. The Leaders of the People caufe 
them to err, and they that are led by them a> e 
defrayed. But fhould Mr. Attorney go about to 
make this a Libel, he would read it thus : The 
Leaders of the People [innuendo, the Governour 
and Council of New-York] caufe them [t, 
the People of this Province] to err, and they 
[the Governour and Council meaning] are de- 
frayed [innuendo, are deceived into the Loff <f 
their Liberty] which is the worft Kind of Dii- 
trudion. Or if fome Perfons fhould publickly 
repeat, in a Manner not pleafing to his Betters, 
the toth and the i ith Verfes of the lvith Chap, of 
the fame Book, there Mr. Attorney would have 
a large Field to difplay his Skill, in the artful 
Application of his Linuendo's. The Words are, 
His Watchmen are all blind, they are ignorant, 
&c. Yea, they are greedy Dogs, that can never 
have enough. But to make them a Libel, there 
is, according to Mr. Attorney's Dodrine, no 
more wanting but the Aid of his Skill, in 
the right adapting his Innuendo's. As for In- 
stance t His Watchmen [innuendo, the Governour's 
Council and AfTembly] are blind, tkey arc ignorant, 
[innuendo, will not fee the dangerous Deiigns of 
His Excellency] Yea, they [the Governour and 
Council meaning] are greedy Dogs, <ivbieh can nt» 
ver have enough {innuendo, enough of Riche.', and 
Power.] Such an Inilance as this feems only 
fit to laughed at ; but I may appeal to Mr. At- 
torney himfelf, whether thefe are not zt leali. 
equally proper to be applied to His Excellency 
and His Alinifters, as fome of the Inferences and 
Innuendo's in his Information againit my Client. 
Then if Mr. Attorney is at Liberty to ccme into 




Court, and file an Information in the King's 
Name, without leave, who is fecure, whom he 
is plealcd to profecute as a Libeller ? And as the 
Crown Law is contended for in bad Times, there 
is no Remedy for the greateft Oppreffion of this 
Sort, even tho' the Part/ profecuted is acquitted 
with Honour. And give me Leave to fay, as 
great Men as any in Britain, have boldly afTerted, 
That the Mode of Prolecuting by Information 
(when a Grand Jury will not find Billa vera) is a 
national Grievance, and greatly incontinent with 
that Freedom, which the Subjects of England en* 
joy in molt other Cafes. But if we are fo un- 
happy as not to be able to ward oft" this Stroke of 
Power diredtly, let us take Care not to be cheated 
out of our Liberties, by Forms and Appearances ; 
let us always be fine that the Charge in the Infor- 
tion is made out clearly even beyond a Doubt ; 
for tho' Matters in the Information may be called 
form upon Trial ; yet they may be, and often 
havu been found to be Mattirs of Sub/lance upon 
giving Judgment. 

Gentlemen ; The Danger is great, in Propor- 
tion to the Mifchief that may happen, through 
our too great Credulity. A proper Confidence 
in a Court is commendable ; but as the Verdid 
(whatever it is) will be yours, you ought to re- 
fer no Part of your Duty to the Difcretion of 
other Perfons. If you fhould be of Opinion, 
that there is no Falihood in Mr. Zenger's Papers, 
you will, nay (pardon me for the Expreffion) 
you ought to fay fo ; becaufe you don't know 
whether others (I mean the Court) may be of that 
Opinion. It is your Right to do fo, and there is 
much depending upon your Refolution, as well 
as upon your Integrity. 

The lofs of Liberty to a generous Mind, is 
worfe than Death ; and yet we know there have 
been thofe in all Age?, who for the fake of Pre- 
ferment, or fome imaginary Honour, have freely 
lent a helping Hand, to opprefs, nay todeftroy 
their Country. This brings to my mind that 
faying of the immortal Brutus, when he looked 
upon the Creatures of C/efar, who were very 
gieat Men, but by no Means good Men. ** You 
" Romans, /aid Brutus, if yet 1 may call you f>, 
** confider nvhat you are doing ; remember that you 
•« are afftjling Csefar to forge thofe very Chains, 
** nvbicb one day he luill make your fehves wear'' 
This is what every Man (that values Freedom) 
ought to confider: He fhould act by Judgment 
-*ndnotby Affeclion or Self-Intereft ; for, where 
thoie prevail, no Ties of either Country ox 


Kindred are regarded, as upon the other Hand, 
the Man, who loves his Country, prefers its Li- 
berty to all other Confideratiom, well knowing 
that without Liberty, Lite is a Miiery. 

A famous Inilance of this you will find in 
the Hiltory of another brave Roman of the fame 
Name, I mean Lucius Junius Brutus, whofe Story 
is well known, and therefore I fhall mention no 
more of it, than only to (hew the Value he put 
upon the Freedom of his Country. After this 
great Man, with his Fellow Citizens whom he 
had engag'd in the Caufe, had banifh'd Tarquin 
the Proud, the lalt King of Rome, from a Throne 
which he afcended by inhuman Murders, and 
pofleffed by the molt dreadful Tyranny and Pro- 
scriptions, and had by this Means amafs'd in- 
credible Riche?, even fufttcient to bribe to his 
Interell, many of the young Nobility of Rome, 
to affift him in recovering the Crown ; but the 
Plot being discovered, and principal Confpirators 
were apprehended, among whom were two of 
the Sons of Junius Brutus. It was absolutely 
neceflary that fome fhould be made Examples of, 
to deter others from attempting the reitoring of 
Tarquin, and deitroying the Liberty of Rome. 
And to effect this it was, that Lucius Junius 
Brutus, one of the Confuls of Rome, in the Pre- 
sence of the Roman People, fat Judge and con- 
demned his own Sons, as Traitors to their 
Country : And to give the lalt Proof of his 
exalted Virtue, and his Love of Liberty : He 
with a Firmnefs of Mind, (only becoming fo 
great a Man) caus'd their Heads to be ftruck off 
in his own Prefence ; and when he obferv'd that 
his rigid Virtue, occafioned a Sort of Horror 
among the People, it is obferv'd he only faid, 
" My Fellow-Citizens, do not think that this pro- 
«' ceeds ftvm any Want of natural Affeclion ; No, 
" The Death of the Sons of Brutus can affeS Bru- 
*' tus only, but the Lofs of Liberty ivill affecl my 
" Country." Thus highly was Liberty efteem'd 
in thofe Days that a Father could facrifice his 
Sons to fave his Country. But why do I go to 
Heathen Rome, to bring Inltances of the Love of 
Liberty ; the beft Blood in Britain has been fried 
in the Caufe of Liberty j and the Freedom we 
enjoy at this Day, may be faid to be (in a great 
Meamre) Owing to the glorious Stand the fa- 
mous Hamden, and others of our Countrymen, 
made againfl the arbitrary Demands, and illegal 
Impofitions, of the Times, in which they lived ; 
Who rather than give up the Rights of Eng- 
Hjhmen, and Submit to pay an illegal Tax of no 


Tryal of J TIN PETER Z E N G E R t &c. 

more, I think, tban 3 Shillings, refolv'd to un- 
dergo, and for the Liberty of their Country, 
did undergo the greateit Extremities, in that ar- 
bitrary and terrible Court of Star-Chamber, to 
whofe arbitrary Proceedings, (it being compos'd 
of the principal Men of the Realm, and cal- 
culated to fupport arbitrary Government) no 
Eounds or Limits could be fet, nor could any 
other Hand remove the Evil but a Parlia- 

Power may juftly be compar'd to a great Ri- 
ver, while kept within its due Bounds, is both 
Beautiful and Ufeful ; but when it overflows 
its Banks, it is then too impetuous to be ftemm'd, 
it bears down all before it, and brings Deftruclion 
and Defolation wherever it comes, li then this 
is the Natue of Power, let us at Jealt do our 
Duty, and like wife Men (who value Freedom) 
ufe our utmoft Care to fupport Liberty, the only 
Bulwark againft lawlefs Power, which in ail 
Ages has facrificed to its wild lull and bound- 
lels Ambition, the Blood of the beft Men that 
ever liv'd. 

I hope to be pardon'd, Sir, for my Zeal upon 
this Occafion : It is an old and wife Caution, 
That when our Neighbour's Houfe is on Fire, we 
ought to take Care of our own. For tho', blefled 
be God, I live in a Government where Liberty 
is well underftood, and freely enjoy 'd ; yet Ex. 
perience has {hewn us all (Pm fure it has to me) 
that a bad Precedent in one Government, is 
foon fet up for an Authority in another ; and 
therefore I canndt but think it mine, and every 
Honeft Man's Duty, that (while we pay all due 
Obedience to Men in Authority) we ought at 
the fame Time to be upon our Guard againft 
Power, wherever we apprehend that it may effect 
Ourfelves or our Fellow-Subjefts. 

I am truly very unequal to fuch an Under- 
taking on many Accounts. And you fee I labour 
under the Weight of many Years, and am born 
down with with great Infirmities of Body; yet Old 
and Weak as I am, I fhould think it my Duty, 
if required, to go to the utmoft Part of the Land, 
where my Service cou'd be of any Ule in affifting 
to quench the Flame of Profecutions upon Infor- 
mations, fet on Foot by the Government, to de- 
prive a Tcople of the Right of Remonftrating, 
(and complaining too) of the arbitrary Attempts 
of Men in Power. Men who injure and opprefs 
the People under their Adminiftration provoke 
them to cry out and complain ; and then make 
that very Complaint the Foundation for new Op- 


prifTion'. and Proffcutions. I wifh J could &y 
these were no Inftanees of this Kind. But to 
c -mclude ; the QuefHon before the Court and von, 
Gentlemen of the Jury, is not of finall nor pi i- 
vate Concern, it is not the Caufe of a poor P 
ter. nor of Neva-Turk alone, which you are now 
trying; No! If May in its Confequence, aifect 
every Freeman that lives under a Inm'fh ( 1 
vernment on the Main of America. It iathe beft 
Caufe. It is the Caufe of Liberty ; and I make 
no Doubt but your upright Conduc>, this D.iv , 
will not only entitle you to the Love and Elicein 
of your Fellow-Cicizens ; but every Man, 1 
prefers Freedom to a Life of Slavery, will bit-: I 
and honour You, as Men who have baftsd 
Attempt of Tyranny ; and by an impartial an:.* 
uncorrupt Verdicl, have laid a noble FounJatiorr 
for fecuring to ourfelves, our Pofterity, and 01: r 
Neighbours, That to which Nature and the L 

of our Country have given us a Right, The 

Liberty both of expofing and opp<.. 

arbitrary Power (in thefe Parts of the World, 
at leaft) by fpeaking and writing Truth. 

Here Mr. Attorney obfervd, that Mr. Hamilton 
had gone very much out of the H r ay, aniaad 
made himfelf and the People very merry : But 
that he had been citing Cafes, not at all to 
the Purpofe ; he laid, there was no fuch Cauj 
as Mr. B ufhel' j or Sir Edward Hale's fa 
the Court ; and he could not find out tubal toe 
Court or Jury had to do with Di /pen/at torn . 
Riots, or unlawful AJfemblies: All that the 
Jury had to confidtr of, was Mr. ZengerV 
Printing and Publijhing two fcandalous Libel.' ■ 
which very highly refieSledon his Excellency and 
the principal Men concern din the Adminijl ration 
of this Government, which is confefs'd. That 
is, the Printing and Publijhing of the Journati 
fet forth in the Information is confejs'd. And 
concluded; that as Mr. Hamilton hud conffi 
the Printing, and there could be no doubt but 
they were fcandalous Papers, highly refecting 
upon his Excellency, and the principal Ma- 
gi f rates in the Province. And therijore be 
fnade no doubt but the Jury '-would find the 
Defendant Guilty, and would refer to the Court 
for their Direction. 
Mr. Ch. Juft. Gentlemen of the Jury. The 
great Pains Mr. Hamilton has taken, to fliew 
how little Regard Juries are to Pay to the Opi- 
nion of the Judges ; and his infilling fo much 
upon the Conduct of fome Judges in uTryals of 
this kind ; is done, no doubt, with a Defig 1 that 
I ' Joq 


you fhould take but very little Notice of what I 
may fay upon this Occcafion. I fhall therefore 
only obferve to you that, as the Fads or Words 
in the Information are confeffcd : The only Thing 
that can come in QuelHon before you is, Whe- 
ther the Words, as fa forth in the Information, 
make a Libel. And that is a Matter of Law, 
no doubt, and which you may leave to the Court. 
But 1 (hall trouble you no further with any 
Thing more of my own, but read to you the 
Words of a learned and upright Judge * in a Cafe 
of the like Nature. 

« To fay that corrupt Officers are appointed to 
« adminijhr Affairs, is certainly a Reflection on the 

* Government. If People Jhould not be called to 
« account for foffefing the People tuith an ill Opi- 

* nion of the Government, no Government can 

* fubflfl. For it is neccjfary for all Governments 
« that the People fiould have a good Opinion of it. 
' And nothing can be vjorfe to any Government, than 

* to endeavour to procure Anirnofeties ; as to the 

* Management of it, this has been always loolCd 

* upon as a Crime, and no Government can be fafe 

* without it be punijhed. 

* Koto you are to Confider, whether thefe Words 

* / have read to you, do not tend to beget an 111 

9 Ch. J. Holt in Tutchins Cafe. 

A N A R R A T I V E of the 

« Opinion of the Ad mini fl ration of the Government ? 
' To tell us, that thofe that are employed inoau 
' n othing of the Matter, and thofe that do knotu are 
' not employed- Men are not adapted to Offices, but 

* Offices to Men, out of a particular Regard to their 

* lnterejl, and not to their Fitnefs of the Places ; 
1 this is the Purport of thefe Papers.' 

Mr. Hamilton, I humbly beg Your Honour's 
Pardon ; I am very much mil-apprehended, if 
you fuppofe what I (aid was fo defigned. 

Sir, you know, I made an Apology for the 
Freedom I found my felf under a Neceflity of 
ufing upon this Occafion. I laid, there was 
Nothing perfonal defigned ; it arofe from the 
Nature of our Defence. 

The Jury withdrew, and in a fmall Time re- 
turned, and being asked by the Clerk, Whether they 
were agreed of their Verdift, and whether John 
Peter Zenger was guilty of Printing and Publishing 
the Libels in the Information mentioned ? They 
anfwered by Thomas Hunt, their Foreman, Not Guil- 
ty. Upon which there were three Huzzas in the 
Hall which was crowded with People, and the 
next Day 1 was difcharged from my Imprifonment. 



T a Common-Council, held 

faid City, on Tuejday the Sixteenth Day of Stp- 
ttmber. Anno Dom x 73 5 • 


Paul Richards, Efq ; Mayor. 

Gerardns Stuyvefant, Efq ; Deputy-Mayor. 

Daniel Horjmanden, Efq ; Recorder. 


William Roome, Elq; 
Simon Johnfon, Elq; 
'Joiin Walter, Efq i 

Cbriflopher Fell, Efq ; 
Stephen Bayard, Elq ; 
Johannes Burger, Elq; 


Mr. Johannes Waldron, 
Mr. Ede Myer, 
Air. John Moore, 

Mr. John Fred, 

Mr. Charles Le Rcux, 

Mr. Evert Byvanck, 

Ordered, That Andrew Hamilton, Efq; of 
Philadelphia, Barrifler at Lav.', be prefented avit/j 
the Freedom of this Corporation : and that Alder- 
man Bayard, Alderman Johnfon, and Alderman 
Fell, be a Committee te bring in a Draught thereof. 

City of 7r At a Common-Council, held 
Nevj-Tork. 5 at the City-Hall of the faid City 
on Monday the Twenty Ninth Day of September, 
being the Fealt Day of St. Michael the Archangel, 
Anno Dom. 1735. 


Paul Richards , Efq; Mayor. 
Daniel Horfmanden, Elq ; Recorder. 


William Rome, Efq ; 
Simon johnfon, Efq ; 
John Walter, Efq : 

Cbriflopher Fell, Efq 
Stephen Bayard, P.fq 
Johannes Burger, Elq 

Tryal of JOHN PETER ZENGER, &c. 



Mr. Johannes Waldron, 

Mr. John Fred y 

Mr. Charles he Roux, 

Mr. Evert Byvank, 
Mr. Henry Bogert y 

Stephen Bayard, Simon Johnfon and ChrJflo- 
pher Fell, Efqrs. Aldermen, to whom it was 
referred to prepare the Draught of the Freedom of 
this Corporation, to be prefented to Andrew Hamil- 
ton Efq i make the Report thereon, in the Words 
following (to wit) That they have prepared the 
Form of the Grant, to the faid Andrew Hamilton, 
Ejq ; of the Freedom of the City of New-York, in 
thefe Words (to wit.) 

City of \ PAUL RICHARDS Efq ; the 

New-York. \ -'' f, Recorder,Aldermen,and Affiftants 
of the City of New-York, convened in Common- 
Council, To all to whom thele Prefents fhall 
come Greeting. WHEREAS, Honour is the 
juft Reward of Virtue, and public Eenefits de- 
mand a publick Acknowledgment. We therefore, 
under a grateful Senfe of the remarkable Service, 
done to the Inhabitants of this City and Colony, 
by Andrew Hamilton Efq ; of Penjilvania, Bar- 
riiler at Law, by his learned and generous De- 
fence of the Rights of Mankind, and in the Li- 
berty of the Prefs, in the Cafe of John Peter 
Zenger, lately tried on an Information exhibited 
in the Supream-Court of this Colony, do by thefe 
Prefents, bear to the faid Andrew Hamilton Efq ; 
the public Thanks of the Freemen of this Cor- 
poration for that fignal Service, which he chear- 
fully undertook under great Indifpofition of Bo- 
dy, and generoufly performed, refufing any Fee 
or Reward : And in Teftimony of our great 
Efteem for his Perfon, and Senfe of his Merit, do 
hereby prefent him with the Freedom of this 
Corporation. Thefe are therefore to Certify 
and Declare, that the faid Andrew Hamilton Efq ; 
is hereby admitted, received, and allowed a Free- 
dom and Citizen of the faid City: To Have, 
Hold, Enjoy and Partake of all the Benefits, Li- 
berties, Priviledges, Freedoms, and Immunities 
whatfoever, granted or belonging to a Freeman 
and Citizen of the fame City. In Tejlimony 
whereof, the Common- Council of the faid City, 
in Common-Council affembled, have caufed the 
Seal of the faid City to be hereunto affixed this 
twenty ninth Day of September, Anno Domini 
One Ihoufand Seven Hundred and Thirty Five. 

By Order of the Common-Council. 

William Sharpas y Clerk. 

And we do further Report, that fund,? of the 
Members of this Corporation and Centlemai of this 
City have voluntarily Contributed fujfftcient for a 
Cold Box of five Ounces and a half for Inchfing- 
the Seal of the faid Freedom ; Upon the Lid of 
which, we are of Opinion /hould be engraved the 
Arms of the City of New- York : WUnrfs Our 
Hands this twenty ninth Day of September^ 1 - - - . 

Stephen Bayard. 

Simon Johnfon. 
Chrillopher Fell. 

Which Report is approved by this Court, and Or- 
dered, That the Freedom and box be forthwith 
made, purfuant to the faid Report, and that Mr. 
Sharpas, the Common Clerk of this City, do affix 
the Seal of the fame Freedom, and incloje it in the 
faid Box. 

Mr. Alderman Bayard going to Philadelphia, 
and offering to be the Bearer of the faid Freedom to 
Mr. Hamilton, Ordered, That Mr. Sharpas de- 
liver it to Alderman Bayard for that Purpofe ; and 
that Alderman Bayard do deliver it to Mr. Ha- 
milton, with Affurances of the great Ejleem that 
this Corporation have for his Per Jon and Merit. 

City of ^ 
New-York. y S ' 
Wednefday the 
Domini 1735. 

At a Common-Council, held at 
the City- Hall of the faid City, on 
fifteenth Day of Oclober, Anno 


Paul Richards, Efq ; Mayor. 
Daniel Horfsmanden, Efq ; Recorder. 


John Walter, Efq; 
Simon Johnfon, Efq ; 

William Roome, Efq ; 
Johannes Burger y Elq ; 


Mr. Johannes Waldron, Mr. Peter Stoutenbur«b 
Mr Abraham De Ptyjier, Mr. Henry Bogert, 
Mr. Gerrardus Beekman, 

Ordered, That the Freedom^ granted by this Cor- 
poration, to Andrew Hamilton, Elq; with the 
Report of the Committee^ /or preparing a Draught 
of the fame, and the Order of this Court, thereon, 
may be printed. William Sharpas. 

Round on the Lid of the Box, mentioned in 
the abovefaid Report and Order, there is ingraved 


^KAXRATrVE of the 

not only the the Arms of the City of New -York, 
but alfo this Motto in a Garter ; 


On the inner Side of the Lid of the Box Shew- 
ing it felf at the fame Time with the Certificate 
of the Freedom ; there is Engraven in a flying 
Garter, thefe Words, 


As an Incentive to public Virtue, on the Front 
of the Rim of the faid Box, there is engraven a 
Part of Tally's Wifh ; 


Which Freedom and Box was preferited in the 
Manner that had been directed, and grateful ljj 
accepted by the faid Andrew Hamilton, Efq : 

F I N I S. 


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